ELQUI syrah 2016
about the wine
this single vineyard syrah is sourced from maiten vineyard – a rocky, sandy ancient riverbed sitting 25 miles inland from the pacific ocean.
most of maiten vineyard is planted to carmenere, but steffan jorgensen has a 7 acre plateau planted to syrah, which is the source of fruit for this wine. this plateau sits right in the path of the wind, which drives the chill factor during the night and really slows ripening.
soil here is similar to that in the basin only rockier – grapes are just about the only thing able to grow successfully. the idea was to prune these vines to just one cluster per shoot, but the poor conditions create that situation on their own!
most of the site is planted to the seldom-found clone 100, which offers up massive umami components – think mushrooms and aged meat, or just smell a glass of this stuff! most chilean wineries plant/use clone 174 which is forward/fruity and a completely different thing altogether. tasting notes
“hints of peat and graphite, quite aromatic and expressive. the aromas are dark, with black fruit and also some black olives. the palate is round and quite bold. this is harvested late because the region is pretty cold, and it is a blend of two vineyards at some 56 kilometers from the sea. this is juicy and satisfying, ripe and a little heady, without excess, kind of washington-meets-northern rhône. quite impressive.” – luis gutierrez, robert parker’s wine advocate issue 230