15 August 2014

Ventisquero Grey

The driving force behind the Ventisquero Grey line is not a tie-in to the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey film, but rather a commitment to single block wines that show distinctive terroir.

Most of the wine drinking world subsists on table wine, which is how the beverage has been enjoyed for thousands of years. Grapes of varying backgrounds and fields are mixed, blended, fermented, and a final palatable product is released. And that is awesome. In the modern era, it means consistency from year to year, so that your bottle of 2010 Benito House Wine tastes pretty much the same as 2012 Benito House Wine. Coca-Cola didn't become a powerhouse because their product could suffer in a single year because of bad weather or leaf mites, or that the product wouldn't be ready to drink until it had rested for twenty years. Such wines fuel the wine industry and keep wine shops in business, and without them, we wouldn't be able to sit around and argue about our favorite expertly crafted, small batch wines from obscure regions.

I think this line strikes a nice balance, because you get the benefit of a unique single vineyard expression without high prices, and distribution is broad enough that you should be able to find these two red wines, as well as the other five bottles under this marque.

2012 Ventisquero Grey Single Block Pinot Noir
La Terrazas Vineyard, Leyda Valley
100% Pinot Noir
$24, 13.7% abv.

Chilean Pinot Noir continues to improve over time, though I'd like to see how this one develops over the next few years. Right now it is bright and tart with a dominant red cherry profile. Still quite young with medium tannins, but I expect it to mellow out in another two years.

2011 Ventisquero Grey Cabernet Sauvignon
Trinidad Vineyard, Maipo Valley
96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot
$24, 14% abv.

The Cabernet Sauvignon, on the other hand, is ready to drink now in the presence of a great steak. It displays dark plum and a touch of chocolate, with gentle aromas of tobacco and green tomato leaf. Certainly a young Bordeaux style and one that, after an hour of decanting, is ready to be enjoyed with red meat.

Note: These wines were provided as samples for review.

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