Santa Ema Reserve Merlot 2007
Vinos Santa Ema is, hands-down, one of the best value/quality brands from Chile,
offering one of strongest quality-to-price wine brands in the world today. Santa Ema’s founding
Pavone family trace their history in Chile back to 1917 when they first came to the region as
grape farmers. Nearly 100 years and four generations of hands-on experience gives Santa Ema
a deep understanding of the Maipo Valley’s unique terroir. The family has established a 500 acre viticultural ‘path’ from the Andes Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, featuring the best terroir from each zone of Maipo: Alt a, Medio and Costa (Leyda). Extensive and selective vineyard ownership allows for creativity and innovation in the vineyards and winery, while guaranteeing quality control. The result is a collection of generous, elegant, regionally distinct wines that overdeliver. Winemaking: The portfolio commences with the excellent value offering, Select Terroir Reserva, which offers excellent fruit concentration, purity of its origin and unmistakable varietal typicity. The next tier up is Sant a Ema’s Reserva/Gran Reserva range. This is the winery’s most traditional and best known collection. Consistently awarded with medals and scores, including a coveted spot on the Wine Spectator Top 100. Perfect harmony and complexity are achieved through delicate barrel aging plus bottle aging. The Am plus line plays on the Latin word for ‘important, sophisticated, distinguished and honorable’. Amplus wines represent the union of tradition and modernity. These are exciting wines with tremendous complexity and elegance.
Dramatic geographic and climatic changes from west to east make Chile an exciting frontier for wines of all styles. Chile’s entire western border is Pacific coastline, its center is composed of warm valleys and on its eastern border, are the soaring Andes Mountains.
Chile’s central valleys, sheltered by the costal ranges, and in some parts climbing the eastern slopes of the Andes, remain relatively warm and dry. The conditions are ideal for producing concentrated, full-bodied, aromatic reds rich in black and red fruits. The eponymous Aconcagua Valley—hot and dry—is home to intense red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot.
Chilly breezes from the Antarctic Humboldt Current allow the coastal regions of Casablanca Valley and San Antonio Valley to focus on the cool climate loving varieties, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Chile’s Coquimbo region in the far north, containing the Elqui and Limari Valleys, historically focused solely on Pisco production. But here the minimal rainfall, intense sunlight and chilly ocean breezes allow success with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The up-and-coming southern regions of Bio Bio and Itata in the south make excellent Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Spanish settlers, Juan Jufre and Diego Garcia de Cáceres, most likely brought Vitis vinifera (Europe’s wine producing vine species) to the Central Valley of Chile sometime in the 1550s. One fun fact about Chile is that its natural geographical borders have allowed it to avoid phylloxera and as a result, vines are often planted on their own rootstock rather than grafted.