The Colchagua is the southernmost sub-region of the verdant Rapel Valley and
apart from its contemporary agricultural reputation for premier wine making,
it’s also the home of the skilled and hardworking horseman known as ‘huaso’.
Having a prideful place in Chilean, folkloric culture, they have gradually over time
diversified away from cattle farming. Their historic range is bookended to the
east by the Andes Mountains, whose majestic, sheltering proximity helps shape
agricultural conditions highly conducive to grapevine cultivation. The mineral-rich
meltwaters flowing downslope, feed the entire Tinguiririca River basin that runs
its course westward and ultimately spills into the Pacific. As with many of these
valleys here in central Chile, the other significant factor of climate for the terroir
is the nearby, tempering influence of the ocean that results in a relatively mild,
almost Mediterranean-like conditions.
Not surprisingly, this translates into the flourishing of many big, high quality red
wine grapes typically cultivated in France such as Syrah, Malbec, Merlot and as
in the case of this week’s DéClassé recommended bottle: Cabernet Sauvignon.
The blend formula is also fairly typical with Cabernet (85%) making up the bulk,
helped by some small dashes of Syrah and Malbec to round out the recipe by
infusing some added body, colour and mineral content.
Viña Koyle already has 6 generations of wine making under its belt, having been
founded in 1885 by Francisco Undurraga Vicuña. The modern iteration includes
over 1,000 hectares of vineyard that encompasses several properties, with the
Los Lingues estate providing the fruit for this particular Gran Reserva bottling.
The other estate at Alto Colchagua provides the vintner with the inspiration for
the wineries name: Koyle being an endangered, indigenous Chilean flower that
nonetheless still thrives around the fringes of the fields and forests here.
This easy drinking red has benefitted from 12 months spent in French Oak to
promote the development of supple tannins and while it is ready to go now, the
still young wine is helped to blossom by decanting for a half hour before serving.
This may not be the most distinctive Cab blend you’ll ever have, but it is certainly
substantial, well-crafted and very satisfying wine at an attractive price-point.
KOYLE GRAN RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #256073 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 17.95
Sugar Content Descriptor: XD
Made in: Colchagua Valley, Chile
By: Vina Koyle S.A
Release Date: Feb. 21, 2015
As is expected from a Cabernet driven blend, this has berry laden aromas and
flavour with some pleasant wood and spice notes. Works well as an apéritif, as
well as, complimenting steaks, stews, roast duck and other meat dishes finished
with either mushroom or peppercorn sauces.