MAX Chardonnay 2020
The exceptional soils and cool ocean breeze provide optimal conditions for Chardonnay in Errazuriz’ coastal vineyards, located just 8 miles from the Pacific. The diverse soils control plant vigor, producing fruit that is balanced yet intensely concentrated, with a beautiful fresh citrus and mineral profile.
Maximiano Errazuriz founded Errazuriz in 1870 in the foothills of Mount Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Andes Mountains and the Western Hemisphere. Recognizing that this valley, with its hot, dry summers and cool Pacific Ocean breezes, was ideal for growing grapes, he sent for the finest clones from France and with tenacity and perseverance transformed this barren land into a world-class vineyard. Today, the tradition of quality lives on with Don Maximiano’s descendant, Eduardo Chadwick.
MAX Chardonnay is produced from grapes grown at the Errazuriz vineyards in Manzanar, a 2,500-acre property with rolling hills located just 7 miles from the Pacific Ocean. The cool meso-climate is ideal for growing cold-climate varieties such as Chardonnay. 70 acres of three Dijon clones of Chardonnay were planted there in 2005. Clone 548 produces grapes with tremendous concentration and structure, while grapes from clone 95 are very aromatic, with citrus and tropical notes. Clone 76 adapts very well to the cold-climate conditions and ripens quite early in the season.
The vineyards are drip irrigated and trellised to vertical shoot position on soils that have a thin, 15-30 inch layer of loam texture over a layer of clay and broken slate-like rocks (schist) that is responsible for the minerality found in Errazuriz’ wines from the coast.
Grapes were handpicked early in the morning and whole-cluster pressed. The must was cold decanted in stainless steel tanks in pursuit of greater clarity. Fermentation took place in French oak barrels, 20% new and the rest of second or third use. Approximately 30% of the final blend underwent malolactic fermentation. The wine stayed in touch with its finest lees while ageing for 10 months in barrels.
Undoubtedly a very challenging 2020 season, presenting the driest winter of the last 50 years. The vineyards in the Aconcagua Region had to endure an intense hydric marathon to accomplish ripeness. Warm temperatures, especially in springtime, ended the season with a slightly colder March and April. Moderate crop yield and abundant irrigation in summer helped maintain the freshness and quality of the vines.
MAX Chardonnay 2020 will delight you with its yellow straw colour and greenish hues. On the nose, it shows aromas of papaya, loquat, pineapple and tangerine. The palate first shows its fresh fruit character, framed by notes of marzipan. The wine is fresh and juicy, offering a balance between breadth and verticality, plus great persistence.
Environmentally friendly processes include using gravity instead of pumps to move wine, controlling temperatures with wind in underground ducts to avoid use of air conditioning, and using solar panels and special window glass to save energy.
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