Saturday, September 15, 2012

Marpuche 2010 Sauvignon Blanc

A vibrant and fresh Sauvignon Blanc, this wine is sure to please anyone looking for a great value. The cool breezes which blow in from the Pacific aid in the slow ripening of the fruit, which adds terrific depth of flavor to the finished wine. The grapes are sourced from leading vineyards throughout Chile's Central Valley, all of which use techniques that maximize sunlight hours for the vines, especially vertical shoot positioning which greatly improves exposure. The grapes are then harvested by hand, de-stemmed, and pressed at a cool temperature. The juice sits on lees before being fermented in stainless steel tanks.

The Mapuche Winery is named for the loose conglomeration of indigenous peoples of Southern Chile and Argentina who successfully maintained cultural identity despite efforts of both the Inca and Spanish to subjugate them. The moniker is derived from the word mapu, or earth.

Chile's Central Valley, located between the vast Pacific Ocean and the forbidding heights of the Andes Mountains, has excellent climate conditions for growing. The Valley is influenced by two major cooling effects, the "Humboldt Current"Â which originates in the Antarctic and travels up the coast of the Ocean, and the nightly blowing of the cold desert air sweeping down the desolate slopes of the Andes. This lengthens the growing season, allowing fruit to reach full maturity, and granting greater flexibility in harvest.

Sebastiani 2009 Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is the Noble red grape of Burgundy, capable of ripening in a cooler climate, which Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot will not reliably do. It is unpredictable and difficult both to grow and to vinify, but results in some of the finest reds in the world. It is believed to have been selected from wild vines two thousand years ago. It is also used in the production of champagne. In fact, more Pinot Noir goes into Champagne than is used in all of the Cote d'Or! It is also grown in Alsace, Germany, the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Croatia, Serbia, Italy, Austria, and so forth, with varying degrees of success.