Many vineyards in Chile have rainfall or groundwater to help feed the vines. But at Viña Leyda, they rely on water from the Maipo. The valley in which Leyda lies is 12 km/8 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Leyda produces a range of flavorful wines that our WineBow group tasted with the winemaking and vineyard team at Viña Leyda. (www.leyda.cl) on our second day of the trip designed to familiarize our group of writers-photographers-wineExperts with the wines of Chile.
The winemaker is Viviana Navarette.
Notes from the winery about their white wines: “The closeness of the Leyda Valley to the sea makes it a unique spot for viticulture. Its cool conditions during spring and summer due to maritime influence and summer breezes makes it an extraordinary area for the development of white varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Riesling. “
Classic Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Leyda Valley. This wine is a blend of 3 Sauvignon Blanc clones: 1 Davis, 242 and 107. Winemaker Tasting Notes: “Intense and expressive Sauvignon Blanc full of white fruit and freshness. Strong expression, this Sauvignon Blanc shows herbal and green character together with citrus aromas, limes, mandarins, grapefruit and passion fruit. In palate it is fresh with a sweet texture, fruit concentrated with crisp acidity and juicy ending.” 13.5% alcohol.
Classic Chardonnay 2011, Leyda Valley. Winemaker Tasting Notes: “As a tribute to the varietal pureness, this is a fruit driven style and unoaked Chardonnay. With the purpose of producing a Chardonnay that respects the natural fruit of Leyda’s cool climate, this wine was made in a fruit driven style, showing in nose ripe citrus and semitropical hints of kiwi and cherimoya. Fruit concentrated in the palate, with sweet and leesy texture, balanced with a juicy finish.” 14% Alcohol. $11.99 retail USA.
Lot 5 Chardonnay 2010, Leyda Valley. (Block Nº5 is managed in order to get the best quality grapes. The production is dropped down to just 1kg per plant, searching for rich concentration of flavours. Canopy management is done in order to protect the grapes from direct sun and then, together with the cool conditions, get a longer and slower ripening period. Even with the lower yield, grapes ripen one week after the rest of the vineyards, notes the winery). Winemaker Tasting Notes: “The lively expression of cold-climate Chardonnay is shown in this elegant and mineral wine. Great mineral character with earthy notes. Light gold coloured, it offers toasted hazelnuts and slightly tropical aromas. Round and creamy, it shows off excellent minerality, lively acidity and a lengthy finish.” 14% alcohol. $19.99 retail USA.
Single Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosé, Loica 2011, Leyda Valley. (Loica vineyard was planted in 1998, in a southwest orientated slope in Leyda Estate. Because of this exposure, sunlight is slightly less in this block and the influence of ocean breezes is higher. Then, the ripening process occurs at a slower rate, contributing to the development of different and special flavours and aromas. The production in this block was 5 tons per hectare, notes the winery). Winemaker Tasting Notes: “Raspberries, cherries and white strawberries’ symphony, an elegant Rosé to enjoy. This Rosé delights with its pure expression of Pinot Noir, showing red berries berries, citric and floral hints. The palate is well structured, fruit concentrated and creamy, making this Rosé an excellent option to pair with food.” 13.5% alcohol. $16.99 retail USA.
Single Vineyard Pinot Noir, Las Brisas 2010, Leyda Valley. (Las Brisas vineyard was planted in 1998, in a southwest orientated slope in Leyda Estate. Because of this exposure, sunlight is slightly less in this block and the influence of ocean breezes is higher. Then, the ripening process occurs at a slower pace contributing to the development of different and special flavours and aromas. The production in this block was 4 tons per hectare, notes the winery). Winemaker Tasting Notes: “A great exponent of Pinot Noir, aromatically fresh and complex. A juicy, fruity and elegant wine. Bright colour. Clean and direct fruity nose, with hints of red cherries, raspberries and a subtle wild herb note. Delicate and refined on the palate. Juicy with ripe flavours of berries combined with mineral notes and a lively acidity.” 14% alcohol. $16.99 retail USA.
Single Vineyard Pinot Noir, Cahuil 2010, Leyda Valley. (Cahuil vineyard was planted in 1997, with north-east exposure, searching for the least fertile soils and the best exposure to sunlight. The viticultural management was specially orientated to get just a few clusters per plant, small berries and a slow and uniform ripening period. The production in this block was 5 tons per hectare, notes the winery). Winemaker Tasting Notes: “A seductive Pinot Noir that captivates with its toasted notes and silky textured palate. Strong Pinot character, expressive, with red and black fruit such as cherries and plums. Soft smokiness, tobacco and spiciness, with mineral notes giving complexity to the final blend. In mouth it is fruit concentrated, with velvety-creamy texture, soft and sweet tannins with long persistence palate.” 14.5% alcohol. $24.99 retail USA.
Single Vineyard Syrah, Canelo 2009, Leyda Valley. (Canelo vineyard was planted in 2005, up the hill, on a west orientated slope in the Leyda Estate, searching for the best exposure to sunlight. The viticultural management is orientated in order to get low yield production, 4 to 5 ton/há, small berries and a slow and uniform ripening period, notes the winery). Winemaker Tasting Notes: “A unique and provocative Syrah, with a great sense of origin. Expressive, cold climate style of Syrah, with lots of spiciness, black pepper, floral notes (violets) and red acid fruit such as raspberries and bluberries. In mouth, it is fruit concentrated, with nice acidity that enlarges the palate, juicy and fresh, with soft tobacco, mocha notes and minerality showing the maritime influence.” 13.5% alcohol. $16.99 retail USA.