Posted on 26 January 2021
Hic! welcomes Matetic Vineyards back to UK shores once again.
Matetic vineyards embody the pioneering spirit and vision of modern Chilean winemaking. This biodynamic project was founded in 1999 by the Matetic family, originally Croatian settlers who arrived in Chilean Patagonia in 1892. Having established themselves as farmers with extensive landholdings, the fourth generation of the family turned their attention to grapes. Confident of the attributes of the climate and soils in the coastal El Rosario Valley of San Antonio, they developed 120 hectares of vineyard. This unique enclosed valley of rolling hills, in close proximity to the sea, offers one of the most spectacular vineyards in Chile. Matetic has fast gained a reputation as the modern face of Chilean wines, and achieved particular renown for their signature style of cool-climate Syrah, hitherto not established in this part of Chile.
Since the start, the team at Matetic embraced organic and biodynamic agriculture as a way of crafting balanced wines with a sense of place, as well as making a commitment to the environment for future generations. Today, they farm 160 hectares of certified organic and biodynamic vineyards, focusing on cool-climate varieties. The vineyard is treated as one organism, with the application of biodynamic compost (all of which is made on the estate), seeding cover crops, and cultivation between the rows. A walk through their vineyards will afford you views of alpacas, geese and ducks that work in natural harmony with the vines to control pests and limit undergrowth.
The vineyards are located in the El Rosario Valley, a subdivision of the San Antonio Valley, nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the foothills of the coastal range; all 160 hectares are certified organic and biodynamic. This completely enclosed valley, perpendicular to the ocean, has ideal growing conditions for red and white grape varieties. Located 13-19 kilometres from the coast and at an elevation of 260 metres, the vineyards enjoy the cooling influence of the ocean, which encourages early morning fogs rolling down the vineyards, lifted by gentle afternoon sea breezes. A dramatic fluctuation between day and night temperatures helps prolong the growing season, resulting in great aroma and flavour concentration as well as natural high acidity. The valley is dominated by ancient granitic soils that are rich in quartz minerals, with a sandy texture and low nutrient content. This allows the roots to explore the deep soil profile and gives excellent drainage. There are three main vineyards within the valley that differ in composition:
A) SANTO TOMÁS VINEYARD Red weathering granite, with a mixture of green volcanic tuff, rich in magnesium, quartz crystals and some carbonates.
B) VALLE HERMOSO VINEYARD Grey decomposed granite, with a high content of iron-rich black mica and volcanic tuff.
C) EL ROSARIO VINEYARD Red weathering granite, with an upper layer of quartzitic clays, mixed with quartz crystals and volcanic tuff, over a granitic parent material.
THE CORRALILLO RANGE
This name was taken from the century-old cellar found on the estate, which was used to make wine from the Mission grape. These are expressive, fruit-forward wines that invite people to discover the taste of the coastal terroir.
CORRALILLO SAUVIGNON BLANC
A Sauvignon Blanc made from a blend of three clones, each planted in a distinct block of the coastal vineyards, where decomposed granitic-quartz soils lend very complex components to the final blend. Biodynamic viticulture helps to promote ideal ripening and increase the typical aromatic profile of this grape variety. An intensely aromatic wine, full of tropical and citrus characters such as grapefruit, alongside mineral and herbal notes. Lively and zesty to taste with a textured and long-lasting finish.
90 Points - James Suckling 2019 Vintage
A Riesling crafted from the Santo Tomás vineyard, located in the Lagunillas sector of the Casablanca Valley, that benefits greatly from its maritime influence. Planted on “batholith” soils, composed of granitic diorite in various stages of decomposition, with the presence of quartz and clay. This soil alongside biodynamic vineyard management encourages the vines to achieve optimal vegetative expression and a natural balance. Leaves are maintained across the vine canopy to avoid over-exposure of the grapes, adding fresh fruit and aromatic notes. The wine received regular lees stirring over three months to enhance volume and texture. A deliciously dry and zesty style of Riesling; both tropical and mineral expressions interplay with classic hints of petrol on the nose. More salinity comes through on the palate with bright acidity and a firm, citrus-driven finish.
91 Points - Tim Atkin 2019 Vintage
The Gewürztraminer vineyards are planted in the coldest sectors of the property, which allow the grapes to ripen slowly and develop excellent aromatic expression. The soils are deep, with granitic composition alongside quartz and some volcanic matter, which enables tremendous root development. The canopy of the vine is kept partially exposed to the sun for greater complexity of aroma and flavour in this variety. The wine is made with a combination of whole-cluster pressing and de-stemmed cold-soaked grapes. A typically expressive yet elegant style of Gewürztraminer: exotic lychee and rose notes exude from the glass, with more complex savoury, ginger and tea elements adding depth to the palate, along with a gentle, textured finish.
CORRALILLO PINOT NOIR
The grapes come from the Valle Hermoso vineyard, located just twelve kilometres from the Pacific Ocean, planted on gentle hills where they are directly influenced by the coolcoastal climate. The soils are of granitic origin, with a presence of mica rich in iron, and a texture that allows the roots to grow unencumbered. The wine is made with two different clones and some whole bunches in the fermentation to add complexity, then aged eleven months in French oak barrels. A vibrant and lively nose that brims with berry fruit and spices. The cool-climate style gives a delicate and fresh tasting palate, with a fine texture and subtle mocha notes whilst allowing maximum fruit expression.
The grapes come from three different Syrah clones, each chosen to give a unique set of characteristics to the final blend, ranging from red fruit to white pepper notes. These were planted on separate hillside sites with different exposures, sharing granitic soils and a presence of quartzite rocks with clay at depth, which results in low fertility and excellent drainage. Canopy management and irrigation are used to keep plant vigour controlled, which enables the development of fruit with tremendous concentration of colour, aroma, and flavour. An intensely aromatic wine, showing vibrant violet perfume with classic peppery notes and wafts of milk chocolate. The palate has a satisfying structure, with rich and lively black cherry fruit, lifted by a hint of menthol and fresh acidity.
92 Points Tim Atkin 2016 Vintage
94 Points James Suckling 2016 Vintage
CORRALILLO CABERNET SAUVIGNON
This wine comes from some of the best vineyards in the Valle de Maipo, characterised by the fresh breezes of the Andean mountains that temper the heat of the valley. The alluvial, well-drained soils of this region perfectly suit Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine was matured for sixteen months in French oak barrels. A rich, classic style, with lifted menthol notes mingling with red berry fruit, as well as gentle smoke and spice hues. The palate is concentrated, with smooth tannins and long-lasting fruit on the finish.
Colchagua Valley, specifically Apalta, is the origin of this Carmenère, with hillside vineyards giving good exposure to the sun. The soils are principally granitic-colluvial in origin, with low fertility, excellent drainage, and a complex profile of clay, silt, and organic material. The wine was aged for eighteen months in French oak, using different cooperages, forests and toasting levels. Fragrant and lively, with red berry fruit and hibiscus alongside mocha notes. The classic spice and herbaceous character of this grape come through discretely on the palate with a smooth and easy-going finish that remains rich in fruit.
THE EQ RANGE
EQ stands for “Equilibrio”, the Spanish word for balance. EQ represents Matetic’s quest for balance and their desire to craft unique terroir-driven wines. EQ wines are elegant, complex, with many layers, and will age gracefully over a long period of time.
EQ COASTAL SAUVIGNON BLANC
Valle Hermoso is Matetic’s most coastal vineyard in Casablanca, located just twelve kilometres from the Pacific Ocean and planted on gentle hills that benefit directly from the coastal breeze. The soils are heavily decomposed granite and iron-rich mica, encouraging deep rooting of the vines. Fermentation took place in a mixture of stainless-steel tanks, 700-litre concrete eggs, and French oak barrels. The resulting wine was kept in contact with the fine lees for four months. A complex and delicate nose, showing aromas of citrus and tropical fruit such as mango, papaya, and lime zest with light herbal notes. The palate displays concentrated fruit flavours, crisp minerality, and a textural richness from partial barrel fermentation.
90 Points Tim Atkin 2019 Vintage
92 Points James Suckling 2019 Vintage
EQ QUARTZ CHARDONNAY
The grapes for EQ Quartz Chardonnay come from a southerly hillside with less sun exposure in the Rosario Valley. The vineyard soils have a granitic-sandy texture, with the hillsides having more clay than granite, and good porosity at depth. There are three clonal selections, and flavours vary according to sun exposure: more tropical notes on the exposed bunches, and mineral notes with excellent acidity on those protected within the canopy. Fermentation with native yeast in Burgundian barrels was followed by eleven months on the lees and a touch of malolactic fermentation. The nose reveals ripe, elegant aromas, including notes of tropical and citrus fruit and a salty-savoury character. A fresh, lively palate follows, showing excellent integration of oak to offer a seamless hazelnut-pastry character alongside vivacious lemon and peach fruit.
91 Points James Suckling (2017 Vintage)
EQ GRANITE PINOT NOIR
EQ Pinot Noir is crafted from vineyards in the Casablanca Valley, ten kilometres from the Pacific Ocean. This excellent terroir is defined by constant coastal breezes and low temperatures with naturally low-yielding granite and mica soils. The grapes were hand-harvested and strictly selected, then fed by gravity into stainless steel tanks, with maceration for seven days at 6°C. Fermentation took place using indigenous yeasts and natural yeast nutrients with gentle pump over and punch-down techniques. Ageing took place in French oak barrels in a variety of formats for fourteen months before final bottling. A delicate and complex style of Pinot Noir, with a nose revealing intense red fruits with earthy, mineral characters. The palate is concentrated but soft to taste, exuding black cherry, beetroot and a hint of mocha, with well-balanced acidity and gentle tannins.
90 Points Tim Atkin (2015 Vintage)
93 Points James Suckling (2015 Vintage)
EQ COOL CLIMATE SYRAH
Sourced from selected vineyards located in the Rosario Valley, on soils are chosen for their granitic origin: lower sites with deep soil profiles and slopes showing greater presence of quartz and volcanic material. In both cases the root systems develop deeply, allowing dry-farming of some blocks for a large part of the growing season. Each lot was fermented separately in open-top tanks and underwent cold maceration for ten days to extract colour and flavour from the skins. Fermentation took place with native yeast and a combination of extraction methods were used to produce optimal tannins. The wine was then aged in French oak barrels for eighteen to twenty-two months prior to bottling. A lively, blue-fruited nose with violet-floral scents, black pepper and hints of wet earth. Poised and fresh to taste, with bright acidity and vibrant, juicy black fruits, very polished in tannin profile with a saline-mineral finish.
94 Points Tim Atkin (2015 Vintage)
95 Points James Suckling (2015 Vintage)
Carrying the family name, this wine truly expresses Syrah from the San Antonio valley. Made according to biodynamic principles, with grapes chosen from two of the oldest blocks in the El Rosario vineyard. This flagship wine embodies the essence of a cool-climate Syrah: a complex and spice-driven example of the variety, with all the elegance and nuance of a great terroir wine.
The grapes for Matetic Syrah come from two blocks, one with 100% granitic soil with some quartzite rocks and volcanic silt, and the other almost flat with a deep, loamy granitic texture. Biodynamic techniques used on the soil further promote deep root development, allowing dry farming for a large part of the season. The wine is a blend of clones 174 and 470, the first lending aromatic complexity and spice character, the second adding volume and texture to the palate. The grapes were harvested by hand according to the biodynamic calendar and cooled on arrival at the cellar, followed by a strict selection of bunches and grapes. A ten-day cold maceration and fermentation with natural yeasts followed. Half the grapes were destemmed, while the remainder were kept as whole clusters, adding increased texture and complexity. Various techniques of punch-downs and pump-overs were used for gentle extraction of colour, aroma and flavour. The wine remained in French oak barrels for twenty two months, before being racked then bottled unfiltered. The bottled wine then aged in the cellar for three years. An intense and expressive wine, with aromas of violet, black cherry, cracked pepper and attractive menthol notes. The palate shows poise and balance with fresh acidity alongside a firm yet velvety structure, luscious fruit offset by a meaty-savoury backbone that adds depth to the finish.
95 Points Tim Atkin (2015 Vintage)
96 Points James Suckling (2015 Vintage)
98 Points Tim Atkin (2013 Vintage) “Overall Red Wine of the Year”, Medal of Excellence