2014 Casas del Bosque Syrah Pequenas Producciones

Year: 2014
Appellation: Casablanca Valley
Country: Chile
Wine Spectator: 90
Wine Advocate: 91
Vinous Media: 93
James Suckling: 93
Decanter: 96
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :
$27.95

AN AMAZING LAWC VALUE! HURRY!!...WHAT WAS ONCE $40-$50 JUICE!

"A big, rich and ripe red, with plenty of roasted plum, berry and dark cherry flavors that are layered with intense Asian spice notes. Accents of forest floor, bacon and dark chocolate show on the savory finish. Drink now through 2021. 800 cases made, 100 cases imported. -KM" (WS)

"The 2014 Syrah Pequeñas Producciones aims at producing a cold climate Syrah from 12-year-old vines planted on a slope close to the sea in Casablanca. The hand-harvested grapes were sorted twice and put in a stainless steel vat at very low temperature for eight days to delay the start of the fermentation, after which they were inoculated with yeasts. It fermented for some six days at a maximum of 32 Celsius. After pressing, the wine was put into French oak barrels, 71% of them new, where it matured for 11 months. The nose is very spicy (black peppercorns, cloves) with more herbal aromas despite being a slightly riper, warmer vintage; the olives are perhaps green and not only black, and something creamy too. There are balsamic aromas and notes of cured meat and smoke, quite powerful and showy. The palate is medium to full-bodied with good acidity and great freshness. An aromatic, showy, earthy cool climate Syrah. It seems to have less oak than previous years. 15,000 bottles produced.

Casas del Bosque is a family winery that started planting in 1993 in Casablanca at some 18 kilometers from the Pacific Ocean. They own 250 hectares of vineyards where the soils are different types of granite and red clay. They currently produce 1.2 million bottles, with a target to reach 1.4 million in 2017. They purchase Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from Maipo, as the Bordeaux grape does not really do well in the cool climate Casablanca Valley. I met with Kiwi winemaker Grant Phelps to taste through the current portfolio. The Sauvignon Blancs show a style halfway between New Zealand and the old world: he favors machine harvesting, early bottling and macerating to extract aromas. The Syrahs are quite showy and are very good examples of cool climate Syrah, some of them real bargains in their category. Additionally, I tasted some Pinot Noirs and other wines later on in Madrid." (WA)

"Inky ruby. Displays highly perfumed cassis, boysenberry, incense, bacon and violet scents that show excellent clarity and spicy lift. Densely packed, plush and energetic on the palate, offering deeply concentrated flavors of ripe black and blue fruits, spicecake and floral pastilles. Shows an appealing sweetness on the impressively persistent, seamless finish, which features interwoven tannins and a strong snap of smoky minerality." (VM)

"A rich and dense red with dried dark fruits such as blackberry and hints of strawberry. Full body, polished and firm tannins. So long and very intense. Need two or three years to soften. 300 cases made."(JS)

Winery Notes:
Vineyard:
All fruit was sourced from our own vineyard - located within the coolest, westernmost reaches of the Casablanca Valley. A blend of three different vineyard blocks (all clone 300) and from vines with an average age of 11 years. Sourced from hillside blocks planted on a red clay mixed with decomposed granite. The blocks used in this blend were cropped at an average of 4.2 tonnes per hectare (1.7 tons per acre).

Harvest:
Harvest was carried out by hand in 12kg picking cases on the 28th of April and 9th of May, 2014.

Vinification:
After picking, the grapes were stored overnight outside the winery in order to naturally chill the fruit to 4-5°C (40°F). The following day the grapes were first subjected to a whole cluster selection. This was followed by destemming (without crushing) and then an individual berry selection before being gravity fed to small open-top tanks. An 8 day cold soak (at 5ºC/41ºF) ensued after which time the must was warmed and inoculated with selected yeasts and fermented during 6 days with temperatures peaking at 32ºC/90ºF. During fermentation the vats were hand-plunged twice daily in order to extract the ideal amount of tannin and colour. Following the completion of fermentation the must was subjected to an additional 3 days of post fermentation maceration (to give a total of 16 days skin contact). The newly fermented wine was then drained (by gravity) to a mixture of new (71%) and 2nd use (29%) French oak barrels for 11 months during which time it was racked twice: once in the spring (upon the completion of malolactic fermentation) and then once again in autumn shortly before bottling. After bottling the finished wine was carefully aged for three months in our cellar prior to release.

Tasting Notes:
Deep purple in colour. On the nose lifted notes of blueberry, violet and rosmary dominate with just a hint of liquorice. In the mouth flavours of boysenberry, leather and tar combine with a hint of dark chocolate, all backed-up by a vibrant acidity and svelte tannins leading to a long, juicy finish.