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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

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about the producer ELQUI
the elqui is a transversal valley which borders the pacific ocean on the west, the atacama desert on the north, and the andes mountains to the east. here, a cool breeze blows eastward across the humboldt current, which flows from antarctica north past chile and peru. these evening breezes cool the vineyards and lower night time temperatures almost 40 degrees, creating wonderful natural acidity in the grapes. the proximity to the atacama, makes rain in this region extremely rare, extending the grape growing season by 6 weeks more than other regions of south america. steffan jorgensen, who was previously chief winemaker at bergevin lane in washington from 2006-2012 and his wife pamela nunez, a trained enologist from the prestigious university of santiago, make small lot varietal wines and blends from 20 acres of estate fruit from their partner and vineyard owner’s property in 2 distinct locations in elqui. all wines are made with special attention to their minerality and earthy aspects and combine with steffan’s style to deliver broad and voluptuous wines with great acidity.