Casa Marin Pinot Noir Littoral Vineyard 2018  £22.95

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When the first vintage of the Sauvignon Blanc was released, it was heralded by Parker as the best white wine made in South America. A moment of great satisfaction for Maria Luz Marin who had to fight to be allowed to plant her vineyards in Lo Abarca, only 5km from the sea. But this is a lady who doesn't take 'no' for an answer and has a career littered with great achievements and numerous firsts. Maria Luz's vision and determination to coax world class wines from these coastal vineyards has proved Chile is capable of producing wine that can take on the world's best.

13 year old vines with yields of 4 tons per hectare. Loam, sandy soil and a coastal climate, 4km away from the ocean with average temperatures of 15°C. In summer temperatures are not higher than 28°C. Morning fogs and frosts occur in spring and early summer. No rain during growing season. Grapes are handpicked during first week of April.

Grapes are manually sorted by hand, leaving behind unwanted green materials. No crushing, just de-stemming. The must is cold macerated before fermentation for 3 days. Spontaneous fermentation at 24 - 25°C which lasted 10 days. Three punch downs per day by hand. Before fermentation is completed the wine is transferred by gravity into the French barrels where the lees are stirred for one months. Spontaneous MLF. The wine is kept for 12 months in French oak of which none new oak. No filtration, acid addition.

Aromas of bright cherry and red berry with hints of cool climate cranberry framed in whips of smoky peat hearth fire. Flavours are bright, with firm acid structure supporting the same fruit tones perceptible in the aroma—very persistent! Finish lingers with long, late acid backbone carrying the red berry late into the aftertaste.


 Luis Gutiérrez

 The Wine Advocate

"I had to wait for the reduction to blow away from the reds, especially from the 2013 Pinot Noir Litoral Vineyard, sourced from a vineyard that is four kilometers away from the sea. The wine matured in French oak barrels, 20% of them new, for one year -- yet you don't notice any oak on the nose. It's spicier and earthier, mixing red and black cherry aromas with some floral hints, developing more complex nuances with time in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied, with sophisticated tannins and very good acidity, tasty, supple, easy to drink and with a mineral, salty finish that calls for food and for the next sip. Very good Pinot Noir. 10,000 bottles produced."

Maria Luz Marín Spring and her son Felipe Marín Gonzalez keep producing some of the best coastal wines from Chile at moderate prices. I had the chance to visit their vineyards in the Lo Abarca village and see the different soils, as they have a rich variety of plots on granite and even limestone, one of the few examples of this chalk soil in Chile. They get very low yields and are suffering from frost in the lower altitude vineyards in the last few vintages. 120,000 bottles per year.

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