Wines of Coquimbo Chile and the Elqui Valley

July 18, 2011 § 4 Comments

The Elqui Valley is located just south of La Serena and 462 kilometers north of Santiago just south of the Atacama Desert at 30′ latitude.  This fertile valley or oasis is noted for having 300 days a year of sunshine a combination of rocky and alluvial soils, cool ocean breezes, warm days and cool nights as well as plenty of water. For years the region has been producing table grapes, papayas, avocados and lemons thrive as well as Moscatel grapes for Pisco (grape brandy). In recent years a number of vineyards have emergered throughout the region from the coast to the Andes at 2,000 meters (6,500 feet) elevation.  The clear skies and some of the cleanest air in the world not only are good for agriculture it also makes the region is also home to the some of the world’s most famous astronomical observatories including Mamalluca Observatory.

There are 10 serious wineries in the area with 508 hectares of vineyards planted in the region, 25% white the remaining is red wine.  In Wine Spectators April 2010 edition is an article on Chile Cooling Off and the great wines coming from the cooler temperature valleys.  Viña San Pedro 1865 Limited Edition Syrah Elqui Valley 2007, awarding it 90 points, and qualifying it as an outstanding Syrah. It was also awarded Best in Show in the 2010 Chile Wine Awards.

If you trying wines from the Elqui Valley we suggest a 2006 or 2007 red Syrah or Syrah – Carmenere blend or Camenere.

Elqui Valley Wines of Note:

1865 Limited Edition Syrah 2007
Tasting Notes:  Great intensity of color with a young and vibrant purple hue. Intense fruity and spicy nose, plenty of blackberries plums, with ripe and sweets notes and hints of vanilla, chocolate and blond tobacco. Great structure with a lot of fruits and balance. It is also elegant with marked but soft tannins which provide a great volume with a slightly smoky and at the same time fruity, long and persistent finish.

De Martino Alto de Piedras Single Vineyard Carmenere 2007
Winner of best Carmenere of the year International Wine & Spirits Competion
Tasting notes: Dark and shiny almost purple color.  On the nose there are generous aromas of fresh berries and spice, with herbaceous undertones. There is a great concentration of fruit as wel as ripe, well-integrated tannis on the palate. The finish is long and elegant with notes of violet and chocolate.

Discover other wines from the Wine Regions of Chile


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