Casablanca Valley, close to the Pacific coast, was Chile’s first genuine ‘cool climate’ area, heralding a new wave of fresh, lively, modern styles, particularly Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Single vineyard selection planted between 1993 and 2008 on the eastern side of Casablanca Valley at an altitude of nearly 800 feet.
The Chardonnay came from Casas del Bosque’s coolest vineyard in the western flank of the Casablanca Valley, near the Pacific Ocean. Soils are a mix of clay and sand, with an average vine age of 15 years. Yields, as ever here, are restricted.
Casas del Bosque was founded in 1993 by Juan Cuneo Solari and was one of the first wineries in the Casablanca Valley. Today it is still family owned and managed by the same family – and they have acquired around 245 hectares of vines in Santa Rosa district, on the west side of the Casablanca Valley. Plantings include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Carmenère and Pinot Noir – all drip irrigated from subterranean wells.
The Casas del Bosque philosophy is based on the constant search for excellence, aligned to the finest expression of each grape variety’s character and sense of place.
Interestingly the grapes were all machine harvested at night, between the end of April and beginning of May, arriving at the winery at around 5°C, which helps preserve both acidity and freshness in the final wine. The wine is 75% stainless steel fermented and 25% French oak aged, with 6 months lees ageing – so the oak element is subtle.
Serve with good old roast chicken, done with garlic, lemon juice, lemon thyme and pancetta.