I visited Chile in 2008-2009 over the New Year’s holiday. I stayed for three weeks and criss-crossed the country. I seriously fell in love with the landscape and with so many of the wines. Over the course of these last years, I fallen off in my tastings of wines from Chile. Lucky for me, this year I was sent a package of Chilean wines from the Ventisquero winery. The winery was created in 1998 in the Maipo Valley. They have extended from that initial footprint and today have vineyards in Casablanca, Colchagua, Leyda and Huasco Valleys.
Ventisquero has a team of winemakers led by Felipe Tosso with Alejandro Galaz and Australian icon John Duval. I tasted wines from the Grey Collection. I tasted the Cabernet Sauvignon from Maipo which was a classic, elegant version of this grape and perfect with a great steak dinner. I also got to taste their Carmenere which had more pepper and fruit forward notes but was also elegant with a mineral note. This wine also came from their Maipo vineyard. I served this with a mushroom dish I have gotten fond of making. The earthiness of the mushrooms was a perfect complement to the earthy notes in the wine. I also was sent a blend of Grenahe, Mataro, and Carignan from Colchagua. I haven’t tried it yet but I look forward to having it with Mediterranean food.
Lastly, I tried their Pinot Noir. This one hailed from Leyda and was balanced and refined with great acidity, minerality, and a complex nose and mouthfeel with herbaceous notes as well as dark red fruit, bramble, and a leathery undertone. I always know a Pinot Noir from Leyda because they have a bell pepper note. I paired this one with Pecorino Cheese called Fiore Sardo PDO. This cheese has a very long history and has been produced since the Bronze Age. It is made from 100% Sardinian Sheep’s Milk.