Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc 2019
#50 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2020
Very bright pale greenish yellow color. Honeydew, lime and lychee-scented nose that also reveals hints of wild asparagus and fresh lemon verbena. On the palate, this extroverted wine is lively, fresh, and gentle. The quintessential Sauvignon Blanc.
Los Vascos wines blend Lafite tradition with the unique terroir of Chile to create elegant wines that bring exceptional to the everyday. The vision of Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) to expand their estates took them to South America in 1988, becoming the first French viticultural investment in modern Chile. Since then, a comprehensive modernization and investment program has been undertaken, oriented towards the production of fine wine using and adapting the viticultural experiences of Bordeaux and other areas where Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) is present.
Los Vascos is located in Valley de Caneten (Colchagua), a closed valley in the central zone of Chile, approximately 25 miles from the sea. The valley provides a perfect microclimate for high quality viticulture, with Northern exposure to lands uncontaminated by airborne or water-borne pollutants. Daily on-shore winds provide temperature changes between 68-77°F, for optimum maturation of the grapes. With 1581 acres, it is one of the largest vineyards in the central Colchagua valley, at the foot of Mount Cañeten.
Between 1989 and 1995 Winemaker Marcelo Gallardo studied at Universidad Austral de Chile graduating with a degree in Agronomy engineering. Marcelo continued his education studying and graduating from Universidad de Chile between 1998 and 1999 with a degree in Enology and Viticulture in Santiago. In 1999, Marcelo worked as an assistant winemaker at Viña Santa Rita in the Maipo Valley, and interned at Bodega Sandeman, Oporto-Duero in Portugal. After Portugal he performed a harvest at Domain Jandeau in Burgundy, France. Working for Viña Los Vascos since 2000, he became the Chief Winemaker and Production Manager in 2006. Marcelo routinely visits the other Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) properties to bring L’Esprit Lafite to Viña Los Vascos. In addition, he collaborates on the latest developments in technology from top Universities and vineyards.
A region that has become synonymous with some of the best whites of Chile, the Casablanca Valley is full of dozens of bodegas who either grow fruit here or come from outside to source from local growers for their own white wine programs. The valley runs from east to west, which means that its westernmost vineyards receive the most cooling influence from the reliable afternoon sea breezes. The soils also tend to be heavier in clay in the west, whereas the eastern end of the valley is warmer and its soils are predominantly granitic. Sauvignon blanc thrives here, Chardonnay does well and Pinot noir is not uncommon.
Capable of a vast array of styles, Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character. Though it can vary depending on where it is grown, a couple of commonalities always exist—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. This variety is of French provenance. Somm Secret—Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is a proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (herbaceous aromatic compounds) inherent to each member of the family.