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Matetic Vineyards and the EQ Syrah 2012 – More Chilean Greatness

Matectic Logo BlackOver the last few years we have tried many outstanding wines from Chile, and our appreciation the country’s vineyards and winemakers continues to grow.  They certainly make wonderful value wines, and have for decades.  What many might not realize, however, is that they also make incredibly high quality wines across the price spectrum.  Our #3 wine from 2016 was a red blend from Chile (you can read about that here), and there was an additional Chilean wine on the list as well.  Let’s look at one more wine from this unique country, as well as a bit about where it comes from: Matetic Vineyards.  You can see this information, and more, on their website at http://matetic.com/en/.

The story of Matetic Vineyards begins in 1999. Led by Jorge Matetic, fourth generation of the family in Chile, the family embraced the challenge of planting Syrah in a cool-climate location, becoming a pioneer project and developing a new category of coastal Syrah within the country.

Vinedos_Slider_41-1720x360 - CopyCurrently, Matetic Vineyards has 150 hectares (about 375 acres) of coastal vineyards planted with cool-climate varieties; exporting to more than 30 countries around the world. They have kept the same principles since beginning of the project, with a commited and passionate team who want to produce authentic wines that reflect their origin in the coast of San Antonio & Casablanca. This enduring effort has been widely acknowledged by the wine press and by their customers worldwide.

GEOGRAPHY

Matetic vineyards is located in Rosario Valley, a subdivision of San Antonio Valley, 120 kilometers from Santiago between CasablancaBodega_noche-e1358398987682-1720x350 and San Antonio. This completely enclosed valley, which is 9,000 hectares in length and perpendicular to the ocean, features extraordinary light and possesses the ideal climatic and topographic conditions for both red and white wines. The first 121 planted hectares are in all-organic soils and are producing 100 percent natural grapes.

CLIMATE

Matetic is in a temperate mediterranean climate with strong ocean influences and dramatic temperature fluctuations during the day of up to 20 degrees C during the maturation period. Typically in the summer, the temperature rises in the morning until midday when a soft sea breeze helps maintain an even 26 degrees C, the ideal temperature for maturing grapes. With its maritime influence, cold nights and barricas_new-e1358403027386-300x176 - Copytemperate days, Rosario Valley is putting out fine red wines-and challenging the myth that quality red wines can only be produced in warm climates. Average precipitation is about 19 inches per year, concentrated during the winter.

Matetic has three lines of wines, Matetic, EQ and Corralillo.  The grapes vary from line to line but include cool climate varietals: Syrah, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc as well as some Cabernet Sauvignon.  Prices range widely as well, from around $12 for the some of the Corralillo whites to $35 for the Matetic and EQ reds.  There is a lot to explore here, but we’ll start with a bottle of the 2012 EQ Syrah.

2012 EQ Syrah

Origin: San Antonio Valley / Alcohol: 14°/ Total Acidity (g/l): 3.53 / Reducing Sugars (g/l): 2.0 / pH: 3.41

matectic 2012 syrahEQ Syrah is sourced from biodynamically grown vineyards located in El Rosario Valley. The places were chosen based on the quality of their granitic soil. The flat plains have deep layers formed by the accumulation of fragmental material and decomposed granite. The slopes show high presence of quartz and granite in various stages of decomposition. Both areas evidence large amount of roots distributed throughout the soil, so the vines are managed mainly without irrigation throughout the growing season.  The plants are managed to retain a healthy and balanced grape production and yields are approximately 5 tons per hectare. The cool climate of San Antonio Valley ensures slow and optimum ripening.

The winemaking process took place in 2 and 5 ton capacity open-top stainless steel tanks, keeping each plot and clone separated. The grapes were allowed to cold soak for a period of 7 days to extract color and flavor. The fermentation was conducted using wild yeasts. Both punch-down and pump-over techniques were implemented during fermentation to enhance tannin extraction and elegance. The wine was racked in selected French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation and aged during 18 months before bottling.  What did we think?

This is very dark and purple black, with ruby at the rim.  The nose is rich and full of black plum, blackberry, spice and floral notes.  On the palate the wine is rich and luxurious, with mouth coating fruit, smooth tannins and long, long finish.  Bold yet elegant, this is a bit decadent really, and is an outstanding Syrah.  $36 on wine-searcher.com

After trying this wine our impression of Chile grows even a bit more.  This wine is worth the price tag.  We’re clearly going to have to try many more wines from Matetic Vineyards, and from Chile.  Fortunately the year has just begun!

A votre santé!

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