Viña Ventisquero explores the importance of terroir in winemaking. This particular bottle is made from grapes grown on soil that is rich in clay, granite, and pebbly sand. I'm not an expert in identifying geologic elements in wine by scent and taste alone--and indeed, many of the New World wines that I write about are not terroir-driven but rather built around the fruit, a schism explained earlier in the year when I got to attend a tasting hosted by Aldo Sohm in NYC.
Ultimately the soil does make a major difference both in the types of grapes that can be grown as well as the wine those grapes will produce. Ventisquero refers to a certain glacial formation in the Andes mountains, and while glaciers had a major impact on the landscape of the northern hemisphere, the sparser land mass in the southern hemisphere means that the impacts of glaciation were more localized. Glaciers are powerful things, and can even grind solid bedrock into rock flour.
Speaking of terroir, it's also great to try yet another Chilean Carmenérè. Although Bordeaux in origin, the grape really found its perfect spot in the small valleys of Chile.
2011 Viña Ventisquero Grey Single Block Carménère
Trinidad Vineyard, Maipo Valley
$24, 13.5% abv.
Dark and deep aroma of prunes, leather, coffee, and chocolate. As it warms some of the green tobacco leaf scents pop up. Rich blackberry flavors with firm tannins and a long finish. A great match for roast venison, lamb, or any savory red meat.
Note: This wine was provided as a sample for review.