Vina Leyda Pinot Noir 2017
Perfect with grilled vegetables, chicken, turkey or baked fish.
Leyda is an innovative winery, that discovered and developed a new viticultural region of Chile: Leyda Valley. Pioneers in cool, coastal viticulture, Leyda is amongst the most awarded wineries in Chile, and is internationally recognized for their Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. Also dedicated to using the latest technology to analyze every detail of the region, their ongoing research ensures that each variety performs to its maximum potential. The state-of-the-art equipment with a diverse selection of barrel types ensures that Leyda consistently produces some of Chile’s most expressive, highest-quality wines. The most distinguishing characteristic of Leyda is its location. Nestled in the rolling hills of Chile’s coastal mountain range, in its namesake Leyda Valley. Just eight miles from the Pacific Ocean, the area has a distinctly cool, maritime climate with moderate, rainy winters, dry summers and a unique influence from the sea. Sea breezes and ocean mist carried by the Humboldt Current have a tempering effect on the otherwise hot summers of this latitude. Evening fog moves into the vineyards and dissipates in the early morning, with clear days, lots of sunlight and low relative humidity. These climate characteristics allow grape ripening to take place at a slower pace, prompting a robust development of aromas and fruity flavors, and ensuring a perfect balance of sugar and acidity in the wines. Planted on rolling hills with low-nutrient, loamy-clay soils, the Leyda vineyards are ideal for producing small yields of concentrated grapes. Within the vineyard, the architecture, density and irrigation levels are constantly adjusted to attain the perfect ripening conditions for each variety. The winery uses the most modern equipment for wine production, including pneumatic presses, gentle pumps and a temperature interchange system for both grapes and must. The cellar has 56 stainless steel tanks of varying capacities, each with temperature control systems. This diversity allows Leyda to separate different lots, and then classify the various components for final blending. The winery uses 70% French and 30% American oak barrels, from the world’s most respected coopers and works with different oak styles to obtain more complexity and elegance in its wines.
An officially recognized sub-zone in the southern part of the San Antonio Valley, the Leyda Valley was the original settlement of the wine pioneers who came to the area in the 1990s. They were in search of cooler and wetter growing conditions—as compared to more eastern, drier and often warmer locations.
Planting, which began only in the late 1990s, focused on Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot noir and some limited spots for Syrah. The area continues to receive well-earned accolades for wines of these varieties.
One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).
In the Glass
Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.
Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.
For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay, not Pinot noir. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.