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...the most important blog with regard to food-and-wine connoisseurship for Chilean wines.
The sommelier Guglielmo Rocchiccioli invites you to share the tasting notes of the wines and analyse the parameters by which it is possible to combine, to match or pairing wines with typical recipes and international cuisine.
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The Harvest

Each year winegrowers and winemakers face the problem of when to begin the grape harvest.

The growth of the grapes and their maturation depends upon a variety of factors: soil, genetic material, trellising systems, growing, production, and yield practices, phytosanitary treatments, and especially climate, among others. One of the primary factors related to the quality of the wine produced is the degree of maturity of the grapes at harvest. This means that once this point is reached, the grapes should be picked within just a few days. In consequence, winemakers and winegrowers work closely together to determine the precise moment for the harvest, as close as possible to the ideal state of ripeness of the grapes for each variety in each vineyard.

From the administrative perspective, it is necessary to organize the work of picking and transporting the grapes from the vineyard to the cellar. Once at the cellar, the reception and vinification operations must also be organized, which in some cases can last 8 weeks or more. Different types of wine require different climatic conditions to obtain a special product, and this situation is not predictable. It is not the same to harvest grapes for making an aromatic dry white wine for early drinking as it is to make a Late Harvest or a Cabernet Reserva that will be aged in the bottle for a long time before it is consumed. Furthermore, the health condition of the grapes and the reaction of each variety to possible rain must be considered. Some varieties such as Cabernet and the Muscats are resistant to bunch rot, and others such as Sauvignon, Semillón, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Syrah are more sensitive.

Another consideration is that when the yield is abundant, the harvest must begin prior to its ideal maturity in order to avoid finishing too late. In both cases, beginning the harvest early of finishing it late, part of the wine will not be made with perfectly ripened grapes. Setting the date to begin the harvest cannot be done empirically or by following guidelines imposed by tradition. It is true that it is very important to observe and taste the grapes for colour, softness, flavour, and aroma, but the progress of the maturation must be followed each year with precise measurements.

 

Profesor Alejandro Hernández – “Chile Vitivinícola. Un país andino con vista al mar” – Quebecor World Chile S.A. – Chile – 2006

 

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www.santahelena.cl

SANTA HELENA RESERVA CARMENERE – VINO DE CHILE – VALLE DE COLCHAGUA – PRODUCIDO Y EMBOTELLADO POR VIÑA SANTA HELENA S.A. – KM 205 LONGITUDINAL SUR MOLINA – CHILE   2009   14%

Helena, this wine contains the essence of your innovative and rebellious spirit, and offers flavors which stand out for their perfect balance, and unmistakable expression of our soils and our wines.

www.santahelena.cl

VISUAL: color rojo rubí con un cuerpo ajustado a su tipología.

NARIZ: kuchen de frambuesa, hiedra, lilium y geranio.

BOCA: el sabor de la frambuesa abarca todo el paladar dejando concentraciones de salivación en las zonas laterales de la lengua; la amable picazón (sapidez) de la parte dorsal de la lengua certifican la presencia de sales minerales; el cierre es amigable con flores rojas que te ayudan a contar hasta 4 segundos de persistencia aromática intensa.

MARIDAJE: risotto ai funghi (arroz con champiñones)

  • La tendencia dulce de los champiñones se contrapone a la sapidez del vino
  • La crasitud de la receta contrarresta la salivación del vino
  • La estructura de la receta iguala la estructura del vino
  • La persistencia gusto-olfativa del preparado alimenticio se equilibra con la persistencia aromática intensa del vino

OPINIÓN PERSONAL:   un vino para una comida que no se había programado pero sale a pedir de boca; la combinación ideal para conquistar y dominar los modernos conceptos de la enogastronomía.

 

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Floral initiation – second part

The process of floral differentiation begins at the end of the dormant period, in early spring. It requires moderate temperatures and good bud nutrition.

The process accelerates during florescence in late September; the androecium is formed, followed by the gyneceum, and finally the ovules. Therefore in late November, a month and a half after bud break, the cluster and the number of flowers per cluster is already determined. A bud that undergoes floral induction will be a fruit bud; the amount of fruit that it will bear will depend upon the conditions of the previous spring, when the bud was formed, as well as those of the current spring, when it underwent the differentiation of the stems and flowers.

In mid-November, when shoot growth is fully underway, the future bunches (inflorescence) become visible and separate, and the flowering period begins. This is when the calyptras (the covering made of petals) falls and the flowers are revealed. At this time the pollen released by the stamen should fall on the pistil (female organ that contains the ovaries), a phenomenon called pollination. The pollen’s sperm nuclei then descend through the pistil to reach the ovary, where it finds the ovules to be fertilized. This is called fertilization. Any of the four ovules contained in the ovary may be fertilized during this process, so the grape berries may have 1, 2, 3 or 4 seeds.

The number of seeds formed in each berry will be a determining factor in the size of the berry; grapes with more seeds have more growth hormone and consequently grow larger.

Temperature is the principal factor that determines good fertilization or fruit set, and therefore, for a certain number of flowers to become berries with a good number of seeds, it is essential that temperatures remain above 59ºF. Any phenomenon that provokes stress in the plant during this period, such as cold rain, competition, toxicity, etc., will cause an abnormal fruit set, the consequence of which is coulure or millerandage. A bunch with millerandage, or poor fruit set, has berries of differing sizes, some very small and others very large; it will be a very loose bunch with few berries.

At the end of this flowering-fruit set period, we will have a specific number of bunches as well as the number of berries per bunch, and we will obtain the first estimation of the amount of fruit at next harvest.

 

Profesor Alejandro Hernández – “Chile Vitivinícola. Un país andino con vista al mar” – Quebecor World Chile S.A. – Chile – 2006

 

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Floral initiation – first part

Newly-formed buds on a shoot are vegetative in nature and produce shoots that contain only leaves and no bunches. The mechanism of floral initiation consists of the gradual transformation of a vegetative bud into a fruit bud that will produce a shoot with bunches. This mechanism takes place in two stages. The first is a floral induction (the message that the bud “receives” to initiate the process of floral differentiation), followed by a floral differentiation that produces the cellular division and subsequent cell differentiation. This long process of floral initiation requires a number of climatic and nutritional conditions, and therefore not all of the buds undergo this phenomenon, and the process does not occur in the same way every year.

The floral induction of the latent bud that will “break” the following year occurs during blooming, with a possible variation of two weeks (before or after blooming). The bud requires special conditions of temperature, light, and nutrition during this period. The buds that are susceptible to floral induction are located in nodes 1-3 and up to the 15th apical position of the cane. If the bud is in condition, it will induce and the period of floral differentiation will begin.

All of this occurs within a bud that will open the following spring. Therefore, by the end of the summer the buds will already contain miniature bunches that will appear the following season. It is therefore possible to examine a cross-section of a bud under a microscope during the dormant period to determine the average number of bunches per shoot, considering the rachis (main stem) with three or more branches to be future clusters. This provides a very approximate index of bud fertility, which allows us to predict the approximate yield in kilos per hectare of the next harvest.

 

Profesor Alejandro Hernández – “Chile Vitivinícola. Un país andino con vista al mar” – Quebecor World Chile S.A. – Chile – 2006

 

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www.santaema.cl

SANTA EMA 1956 – EMBOTELLADO EN ORIGEN – MERLOT D.O. PEUMO VALLE DE CACHAPOAL – PRODUCTO DE CHILE – SELECTED TERROIR – PRODUCIDO Y EMBOTELLADO POR VINOS SANTA EMA S.A. – IZAGA 1096 – ISLA DE MAIPO – CHILE     13,5%   2009

VISUAL: color rojo rubí con reflejos púrpura y con un buen cuerpo.

NARIZ: grosellas, arándanos, musgo, césped, violeta y lilium.

BOCA: seco, suave y aterciopelado; su redondez desemboca en un toque de sapidez en la parte dorsal de la lengua; la buena estructura conduce rumbo un cierre dulce con fruta de bosque suportado de una discreta salivación; la persistencia aromática intensa es de 4/5 segundos.

MARIDAJE: tortilla de papa rellena con queso crema

  • La sapidez del vino contrarresta la tendencia dulce del preparado alimenticio
  • La salivación del vino sirve de contrapeso a la crasitud de la receta
  • La estructura del vino iguala la estructura del plato

OPINIÓN PERSONAL: un canasto de fruta de bosque encanta la nariz, la redondez aterciopelada en la boca sorprende el paladar y la estructura afirma la buena calidad del vino.

Resulta óptima la relación precio-calidad.

 

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Shoot growth and formation of the cluster

The shoot grows by lengthening from the tip at the extreme of the shoot, which is where cellular division and enlargement (apical meristem) is produced. The shoot grows during the spring and summer. At the end of the season, its growth stops and this shoot (cane) no longer grows in length. Part or all of it will be eliminated during winter pruning. The part of the cane that is not removed will grow in diameter and thicken over the years. This is true for the canes, arms, and trunk.

The buds located in the shoot are inhibited against opening during the growing season and therefore must wait for the following season. Nevertheless, during this entire period, each of these buds is exposed to a process of floral induction that will determine whether the shoot that originates from this bud will be strictly vegetative (without clusters) or both vegetative and fruit-bearing (with clusters).

 

Profesor Alejandro Hernández – “Chile Vitivinícola. Un país andino con vista al mar” – Quebecor World Chile S.A. – Chile – 2006

 

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The Grapevine

Ampleography is the botanical study of the grapevine. Grapevines belong to the Vitaceas or Ampelidaceas family. A Family is composed of Genera, which are composed of Species, which are composed of Varieties. The Vitacea Family has 10 genera, the most important of which is the genus Vitis, which has 50 species. The most important and most-widely grown species (90% of all grown in the world) is Vitis vinifera, which originated in Western Asia. The best known varieties, such as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, belong to this species. The grapevine is a woody plant that has a trunk and canes (branches) covered by a fibrous bark with lengthwise stria that fall off at maturation /rhytidome). Its pith is interrupted in the nodes by a diaphragm and has bifurcated tendrils.

The leaves are continuous and alternating, which means that the leaves, which may or may not be lobed, appear at each node and alternate along the shoot. The flowers are either hermaphrodite of functionally female. The ovary is bilocular and its fruit is a berry. The tendrils are alternating and discontinuous and have the same origin as the clusters. The tendrils help the shoot attach itself to the trellising system and the vine can support itself as it grows. Grapevines are climbing plants, similar to lianas and ivies that originated in the forest, and because the tendrils coil around the branches of trees, the vine can climb up and grow in search of the sun.

The grapevine’s branching system is based on a primary or winter bud that sprouts the following year depending on its formation, giving rise to a primary shoot that contains the leaves, tendrils, and bunches. In the axil of the petiole of each leaf inserted into this primary shoot accessory buds form that can develop in the same season and produce a lateral shoot; this lateral may produce small clusters of grapes called “second crop bunches”, which ripen late and are normally still green at the time of harvest and so are left on the vine. Field workers often eat them as they do their winter pruning.

 

Profesor Alejandro Hernández – “Chile Vitivinícola. Un país andino con vista al mar” – Quebecor World Chile S.A. – Chile – 2006

 

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www.santaema.cl

SANTA EMA 1956 – EMBOTELLADO EN ORIGEN – CABERNET SAUVIGNON D.O. VALLE DEL MAIPO – PRODUCTO DE CHILE – SELECTED TERROIR – PRODUCIDO Y EMBOTELLADO POR VINOS SANTA EMA S.A. – IZAGA 1096 – ISLA DE MAIPO – CHILE     13,5%   2009

www.santaema.cl

VISUAL: color rojo rubí con reflejos púrpuras y con un cuerpo mediano.

NARIZ: pimentón verde, frutillas, frambuesas y flores de campo.

BOCA: un vino seco y cálido; un buen porcentaje de sapidez bajo forma de picazón en la parte dorsal interna de la lengua y un toque levemente astringente; una pizca de tanino y un toque amarguillo al final completan la descripción del examen gustativo; la persistencia aromática intensa vacila entre 4 y 5 segundos.

MARIDAJE: omelette

  • La tendencia dulce del huevo se contrapone a la tendencia amarguilla del tanino
  • La tendencia dulce del huevo se opone a la sapidez del vino
  • La untosidad del preparado alimenticio contrarresta la sequedad alcohólica del vino
  • La persistencia gusto-olfativa del preparado alimenticio se neutraliza con la persistencia aromática intensa del vino

OPINIÓN PERSONAL: un vino  varietal con un carácter decisivo que demuestra profundas e interesantes notas de cata para un simple pero encomiable maridaje.

 

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30. Starting with the aperitif and finishing with the spirit

The Sommelier should deal with all the beverages service – from the aperitif to the spirit.

More and more frequently, an aperitif is offered at the beginning. The typologies of aperitif are the following:

  • a sparkling wine – Charmat, Champenoise or even a Millesimé
  • a white wine – fresh, young and aromatic
  • a Manzanilla Sherry, a White Port or a Marsala Vergine – extended habit in countries such as Spain, Portugal and Great Britain

As concerns the water service, the Sommelier should ask the client what kind of water (mineral or natural) does he prefer, memorize the choice and serve it as soon as possible.

At the end of the dinner, during or after the selection of the coffee, the Sommelier can suggest a spirit or a distillate, showing the trolley with the whole bottles and the glass for each kind of drink.

Edizioni Associazione Italiana Sommeliers (2003). Il Sommelier, Cavriago – Reggio Emilia, Bertani & C – Industria grafica

 

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www.santaema.cl

SANTA EMA 1956 – EMBOTELLADO EN ORIGEN – CHARDONNAY D.O. VALLE DE CASABLANCA – PRODUCTO DE CHILE – SELECTED TERROIR – PRODUCIDO Y EMBOTELLADO POR VINOS SANTA EMA S.A. – IZAGA 1096 – ISLA DE MAIPO – CHILE     13,5%   2009

www.santaema.cl

VISUAL: amarillo pajizo intenso y petillant.

NARIZ: piña, papaya, chirimoya, durazno blanco, jazmín y margaritas.

BOCA: entrada suave y con una buena estructura que amablemente se sienta en la lengua; la salivación se acompaña con la redondez del vino al paladar; el cierre es dulce y la persistencia aromática intensa es de 4 segundos.

MARIDAJE: spaghetti con espinacas, nueces y crema

  • La crasitud de la comida se contrapone a la salivación del vino
  • La estructura de la receta se iguala a la estructura  del vino
  • La persistencia gustativa de la receta se armoniza con la persistencia arómatica intensa del vino

OPINIÓN PERSONAL: un  jardín de fruta y flores a la nariz, una buena estructura aterciopelada a la boca y un dulce recuerdo al final del paladar.

La relación calidad-precio es extraordinaria.

 

 

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