Wine of the Month
2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Garuma Vineyard, Viña Leyda
Casablanca Valley might represent Chile’s first intrepid steps into cool-climate production, but it’s Leyda that took a series of determined, confident strides. Just 14km from the vast Pacific Ocean, the Sauvignon Blanc here expresses a crispness, minerality and fine-boned structure not found elsewhere in Chile’s viticultural paradise. Benefitting from sea breezes and limestone and granite soil, La Garuma oozes class and style, and is sharp, citric and herbal, with a saline finish and marked acidity. On the nose, ripe gooseberry and grapefruit combine with fresh green lime and hints of green peppers, pea shoots and asparagus. All in all, a delicious cool climate Sauvignon Blanc.
Sauvignon Blanc Garuma Vineyard comes from a selected block, on a south-west facing slope, with the coolest conditions within the vineyard. Cold breezes coming from the coast directly hit this block, enhancing the mienral and often salty character of the wine. 30% of the grapes were hand harvested during the mornings of the second week of March. A second harvest was done twelve days later, to obtain riper fruit and more structure.
The juice was chilled down to 8oC and then gravity-clarified, in order to avoid oxidation and preserve the varietal aromas. The must went to stainless steel tanks and fermented there at low temperatures (12-13oC) for 25 days until dryness. 6% of the wine was fermented in old barrels, for more texture on the palate, and to add complexity and weight to the final blend.
Superb on its own, but will also compliment lamb or chicken.
In the buyer's words
“Arguably the best value for money premium Sauvignon Blanc in the world. Viviana Navarrete, chief winemaker at Viña Leyda, prides herself on harnessing incredible purity of fruit, and aromatics from the cool, coastal Leyda Valley. It's dry, saline and searingly fresh, with bold aromatics of passion fruit, grapefruit, lime and gooseberry. A very grown up wine for a very good price.”Harriet Kininmonth, Head of Buying
In the press
92/100 - “The 2016 Single Vineyard Garuma Sauvignon Blanc is produced with grapes sourced from two plots of a south-facing, late-ripening vineyard on granite and limestone soils. This is always a sharp, citric, herbal and electric example of the Sauvignon Blanc. It has a very mineral finish with marked acidity. The full clusters are pressed with the use of SO2 and carbonic snow, and the juice put to ferment in stainless steel with selected yeasts. It's kept with the lees, which are stirred twice per week for six months. It has good structure and citric, electric acidity from a clone that has strong herbal charateristics. This is a perfect example of the typicity of the Leyda Valley through the grape. Simply delicious and very tasty, with an almost salty finish. Great price, too.”Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate
“For fans of Sauvignon Blanc, this is a 'must try'. A perennial award-winner, it knocks spots off many far more expensive New Zealand and Chilean Sauvignons. Made from grapes grown in very cool conditions, benefiting from the sea breezes of the adjacent Pacific Ocean, there's a definite sea-salty tang in this crisp, mouth-wateringly fresh white. Nervy, and as highly strung as an Arabian racehorse, this wine just oozes class and style. Words to describe this wine tumble over themselves - precise, pinpoint sharp aromas of fresh lime, wild herbs and passion fruit; vibrant, entrancing flavours of pink grapefruit, lime zest and gooseberries, with a generous, mouth-tingling citrussy finish. One word - glorious.”Angela Mount, Bath Chronicle