Just arrived on our shelves at ABC Fine Wine & Spirits are three exciting new wines from Chile – Kawin Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc ($9.99 each), and Humo Blanco Gran Cuvée Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.99).
All three come to us from famed Bordeaux winemaker François Lurton’s Araucano estate located in Chile’s Lolol Valley. Lurton is a well-known figure in Bordeaux, where his family has been producing wine since the 1890s. He also owns successful estates in Spain and in Argentina. But why Chile?
“If I were a vine,” he says, “I would choose to be planted in Chile.” Central Chile offers a stable climate and land that is protected by the Andes Mountains on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other, a hot desert climate to the north and a frigid climate to the south, which means there is a very low risk of disease. The terroir is perfect for producing organic/biodynamic wines of which François Lurton has long been an advocate. “Biodynamic agriculture helps our vineyards develop in harmony with nature,” he says, “without any use of chemicals, thus encouraging the vines to nourish themselves naturally.”
The name Kawin comes from the language of the Mapuche, the indigenous inhabitants of south-central Chile, and translates as ‘gathering’ or ‘celebration.’
Kawin Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, which is the most widely grown grape variety in Chile. The grapes are handpicked and come from various production areas in the Central Valley, and vatted in cement and stainless steel. The resulting wine is fresh and silky, lacking the green vegetal qualities sometimes found in this grape variety in Chile, with bright red cherry flavors and suave tannins.
Kawin Sauvignon Blanc is 100% Sauvignon Blanc, handpicked, mostly from the Lolol Valley but also from the Casablanca and Curico valleys. A little herby, with fresh citrus aromas, nice acidity and a long finish, it will easily stand up to the popular Sauvignon Blanc wines of New Zealand, Australia and California.
The Lolol Valley, although hot and dry, is moderated by oceanic breezes and morning fog (Humo Blanco translates as “white fog”) which produces wines of great elegance. Humo Blanco Gran Cuvée Cabernet Sauvignon is cultivated according to biodynamic principles and is certified organic. The style is definitely Old World with a rich, satisfying elegance. The grapes are handpicked and the wine is aged for 18 months in barrels (70% new, 30% one wine barrels). This Cabernet Sauvignon is deep red with aromatic, intense fruit, fresh blackcurrants and complex notes of thyme and garrigue. It is powerful on the palate with concentrated tannins.
These wines are a perfect example of the style and quality of wine that Chile has to offer.
Bill Stobbs, ABC Wine & Spirits Sales Manager
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