2018 Las Veletas


Available for purchase in the U.S. only excluding AL, AK, AR, DE, HI, MS, ND, RI, UT, WV. 

Wine Details & Tasting Notes

Compare at $37/bottle elsewhere

I first tasted this wine at a trade show last Spring in New York, fell in love with its ethereal power and complexity, and promptly purchased all 200 remaining 6-packs.

Turns out the wine critics loved it as well as I subsequently discovered when the confirmation samples arrived with all sorts of 93- and 94-point score stickers on them. Not sure what you think of Tim Atkin, MW or Chilean Wine Guide Descorchados, but they've awarded this wine 94- and 93-points, respectively. Should count for something, I would think, for a wine priced at just $19/bottle, less than half the $35-$40 price it would have commanded based on its ex-cellars cost.

And a lovely wine it is.

Las Veletas was originally founded as a passion play to resurrect the old and ancient vine Pais (originally brought over by Christopher Columbus in 1492) and Carignan of the upper Maule Valley in Chile. Some of these gnarly old vineyards date back to the late 1700's, making them the oldest recorded vineyards in the world.

However, the wine on offer today is from more modern stock, just a hectare of uplifted decomposed granite and gravel in the Altos of Alquihue where the 350M elevation, dry-farmed vineyard produces small clusters of intense Cabernet Franc fruit. The wine is fermented on native yeasts and aged for another 18-months in barrel before bottling. Only a couple hundred cases are produced each year - you won't find this anywhere else in the USA.

The result is an ethereal elixir that beautifully combines its rocky underpinning with a core of graphite and granitic minerality perfumed with pretty raspberry and cherry and Cabernet Franc's signature spicy garrigue and sweet florals. Dried blueberry and mushroom complex the bouquet with air. Fleshy and chewy on the palate, its presents a beautifully balanced amalgam of fruit and rock that play out over a potent structure of mineral-laced tannins that provide fantastic backbone. This wine would pair nicely with grilled meat now and will gain significant complexity over the next couple of years as it opens up in the bottle - feel free to drink or hold.

All in all, this is a pretty geeky wine, I must admit, but I believe it will have broad appeal. However, I was captivated not only by its beauty but by its potential. I would be quite happy consuming this now (in fact, I am grilling some sausages for the team now) and then cellaring the rest to consume over the next decade.

100% Cabernet Franc, 100% estate fruit in upper plateau's of the Loncomilla Valley in Maule region.
18-months in 20% new, medium-toast French oak just for a little fruit elevation
14% alc.
200 x 6-packs imported, 100 cases

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