Vina Siegel Gran Crucero Limited Edition Red Blend 2010
Blend: 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Syrah and 20% Carmenere
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
His father, Don Germán, was a viticulturist that spent most of his career in charge of Viña San Pedro's vineyards near the town of Molina, 140 miles south of Santiago. There Alberto grew up, literally in the middle of the vines. It was not a surprise when he decided to study Agronomy and specialize in winemaking at the Universidad Católica in Santiago.
After finishing high school, he spent a year working in wineries in Germany, and upon his return in 1971, he joined the German company Bayer. His job was to sell fertilizers to farm owners in the Colchagua area, 100 miles south of Santiago. Through this job he got to know almost every land owner, most of which were grape growers and wine producers.
A few years later and as a natural consequence, he started to act as a wine and grape broker, selling the production of small owners to the big Chilean wineries. He established Sociedad La Laguna, and he soon became the most important Chilean broker in this field, a position that he still holds today. There is hardly any Chilean person or company involved in the wine business that has not dealt with Alberto Siegel at least once.
In parallel, and together with his father, Alberto founded Viña Siegel in 1980. They started planting vineyards in Colchagua and building the Winery in Santa Cruz. When Don Germán died in 1998, Alberto became the owner, together with his family. In the beginning, Viña Siegel only sold bulk wines to the biggest Chilean wineries, like Concha y Toro, San Pedro and Santa Rita. In 1997, Alberto decided to enter the bottled wines business and made the necessary investments to go ahead with this project.
Well-regarded for intense and exceptionally high quality red wines, the Colchagua Valley is situated in the southern part of Chile’s Rapel Valley, with many of the best vineyards lying in the foothills of the Coastal Range.
Heavy French investment and cutting-edge technology in both the vineyard and the winery has been a boon to the local viticultural industry, which already laid claim to ancient vines and a textbook Mediterranean climate.
The warm, dry growing season in the Colchagua Valley favors robust reds made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Malbec and Syrah—in fact, some of Chile’s very best are made here. A small amount of good white wine is produced from Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.