Vina Maquis will soon be celebrating its 100 year anniversary. Founded in 1916 by the Hurtado Family, Maquis is one of the oldest wineries residing in the Colchagua Valley, and has been owned for four generations by the same family. Since its origins, ViñaMaquis has been associated with the production of noble vine varieties. The Cabernet Franc stands out as particularly notable, and provides a faithful representation of the winery’s unique and privileged terroir.
The vineyard terroir is marked by its very special geographical position, situated between two large waterways. Today, they act as pathways for cool coastal breezes that help moderate the warm Colchagua summers, contributing to the intensity and fruitiness of the wines.
Vina Maquis’ old winery, still in use today for storing wine, was built in 1927 by owner and engineer Ignacio Hurtado, and considered revolutionary at the time for the ingenious way to control temperatures during fermentation and its state of the art French machinery. In 2002, after several years of refining the management of the vineyards and quality of the grapes, the Hurtado Family decided to start building a new winery in Maquis, one that would allow the expression of the characteristics and personality of the grapes in the clearest way possible. The idea was that no machinery could ever replace the quality and care of the job done by a passionate and professional team, at least for some of the steps in the winemaking process. Thus the winery was designed to facilitate an artisanal approach.
The indigenous Mapuche community, which settled in the Colchagua Valley and elsewhere in Chile, is renowned for its silverwork with simple forms and deep symbolic meaning. Vina Maquis is proud to identify their wine with this local art. The labels of their wines feature one-of-a-kind pieces of Mapuche silver craftsmanship.
Vina Maquis produces a series of varietals, and three premium reds from their estate vineyards. The varietals are a Rose of Malbec, Malbec, Carmenere, Cab Franc and a Cabernet Sauvignon. These will all be 100% except for the Cabernet, which likely is blended with a small amount of Petit Verdot. The premium blends are the Lien, made with Carmenere, Syrah, Cab Franc and Petit Verdot; the Viola, which is mostly Carmenere with a small amount of Cab Franc; and the Franco, a 100% Cabernet Franc wine. Prices vary widely. The premium Lien will run about $30, the Viola about $50 and the Franco will push $100.
We have a bottle of the 2009 Viola, so let’s take a look:
Winery Location: Colchagua Valley, Chile
Tasted By: Neil & Cheri Date: January, 2017
Tasting Notes: this is dark purple/black at opening, and the color reminds me of a Malbec from Cahors. That would be wrong though, as the wine is a blend of 85% Carmenere and 15% Cabernet Franc. A rich nose offers up coffee, caramel, tobacco, dark fruits, floral notes and spice. This is very complex. Initially it seemed medium bodied plus, and you expect more from the amazing nose. The tannins are pretty silky and it finishes long. Still, not quite the mid-palate you would expect.
Then we tried again the next day, and it had filled out beautifully, and softened. Along with the fruit and myriad aromas from the day before shoe leather was evident and very pleasing. Now it is quite full bodied, with berries, cherry, the aforementioned leather and some charred, smoky oak. Firm tannins frame a very long finish. This is really excellent with some air time. We suggest a 1-2 hour decanting, and then enjoy.
Price Point – This is about $50
Would We Buy It? – it certainly is worthy of a splurge bottle price. Just make sure you decant it for a few hours. It is a little different, and really well done.
This is yet another great wine from a top Chilean producer. We’re starting to think that all they make is great wine. Maybe we’re right?
We’ll continue to sample from the wines of Chile, just to make sure…..
You can learn more about Vina Maquis at their website: http://maquis.cl/
A votre sante!