Santa Rita obtains top scores in Robert Parker’s latest Chile report
02-06-17
Santiago, May 2017.- Included on his most recent Chile Report, wine critic Luis Gutiérrez from Robert Parker.com, wrote on the challenges for Chilean viticulture during the 2017 season, and commented on some of Santa Rita’s top wines.

Santa Rita Casa Real“The move towards less ripeness, less excess and less new oak is a global trend”, Gutiérrez explains on his article called Chile: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. “The wine scene in Chile is certainly a lot more dynamic than seven years ago (…), as people are open to exploring new places, new grapes, new styles and new techniques”.

On the other hand, “there is a certain return to the past and recognition of the traditional ways from ancient times”, he adds. And on varieties, he mentioned “there is a clear Semillon revival (…) the improvement in Pinot Noir I noticed last year continues (…) but what struck me as new this year was the better understanding of Carmenere and the improvement in many wines produced with this challenging variety”.

Here are some of the wines Luis Gutiérrez tasted and scored for Robert Parker:

Santa Rita Casa Real 2013 / 93 points

I was really looking forward to the cool vintage of the 2013 Casa Real Cabernet Sauvignon, the icon from Santa Rita portfolio. It’s a classical 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Alto Jahuel in Maipo Alto from over 60-year-old vines, first bottled with the 1989 vintage. It has all the classical features but always based around elegance and balance, with power and concentration, yes, but always keeping its poise. This has to be one of the finest and most elegant vintages of Casa Real along with the 2010. As classical Cabernet Sauvignon from Maipo as it gets.

Santa Rita Bougainville Petite Sirah 2013 / 91 points

With a particular and marked style, quite original in Chile, the 2013 Bougainville Petite Sirah has strong aromatics coming from the rare Petite Sirah (Durif) grape. It’s quite exotic, dark, concentrated and juicy. It fermented in stainless steel and aged in some of the best brand new French oak barrels money can buy for 18 to 19 months, yet it doesn’t come through as oaky. It’s blended with 5% Syrah. The palate is as exotic, showy and impressive as the nose, and it is medium to full-bodied, ripe but fresh, modern, clean, pleasant and nicely crafted. A one night stand? 9,152 bottles were filled in October 2016.

Santa Rita Pehuén Carmenere 2013 / 90 points

The top Carmenere is the 2013 Pehuén Carmenere from Apalta. It is peppery and ripe, with faint notes of dark chocolate and roasted coffee plus an herbal touch. The palate has pungent flavors of juicy fruit and herbs, well-integrated oak and fine tannins. 13,194 bottles produced.

Santa Rita Triple C 2013 / 90 points

The harmonious 2013 Triple C had much better integrated oak than the 2011 I tasted last time. From Maipo, it is a Bordeaux blend of 65% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Carménère, which now seems to be constant across vintages. It has a classical nose mixing black and red fruit with spices and an herbal touch. The palate is medium-bodied and revealed fine tannins, good balance and good freshness. 19,632 bottles produced.

2014 Santa Rita Floresta Cabernet Franc / 90 points

The polished and floral 2014 Floresta Cabernet Franc had a very similar profile to most of the top range reds from Santa Rita; it is balanced, polished, balsamic and peppery with a soft palate and some tannins that would welcome food. You don’t feel the 14 months in 100% new French oak, though. 4,500 bottles produced.

Santa Rita Floresta Sauvignon Blanc 2015 / 90 points

Much more herbal, pungent and intense is the 2015 Floresta Sauvignon Blanc that is sourced from Leyda. It fermented in stainless steel and 40% in barrel, where the wine was kept with lees for six months. It has strong vegetal aromas of yellow chiles, asparagus, green beans and gooseberries, The palate is sharp and dry, with pungent, penetrating flavors and moderate alcohol. 6,144 bottles were filled in April 2016.