16 Jun VIÑA MORANDÉ IS WIDELY PRAISED BY RENOWNED CRITIC JAMES SUCKLING
In the recent Chilean wine report, Zekun Shuai, senior editor at JamesSuckling.com, highlighted the work done by Viña Morandé, mentioning its tireless and successful spirit of exploring new varieties and terroirs. In addition, it awarded excellent scores to more than 18 wines from the vineyard.
At the beginning of June of this year, the prominent North American critic James Suckling published a partial report on Chilean wines in which he extensively mentioned Viña Morandé, highlighting it as one of the most important wineries in the country. In the article, it is mentioned that the vineyard was a pioneer in the Chilean wine scene, since, thanks to Pablo Morandé, its founder, Casablanca was discovered and put on the map in the 1980s, showing the world the ability to our country to produce outstanding wines.
In this way, the report that emerges from a tasting between the winemaker Ricardo Baettig and the Senior editor of James Suckling.com, Zekun Shuai, sweeps through the various lines of Morandé wines, which, without a doubt, had a brilliant participation obtaining outstanding scores.
HOUSE OF MORANDÉ
House of Morandé is Viña Morandé’s hallmark. A classic Bordeaux blend, which reflects the history of the vineyard and the winery, as well as being a faithful representative of the elegance of Alto Maipo.
His 2019 vintage scored 94 points from the critic and was praised for its freshness, depth, and notes of tangy blackberries, currants, and blueberries, along with dark spices, minerals, and cocoa powder. Shuai described it as “A medium-to full-bodied red with precise, immaculate tannins in a dusty texture. Juicy, polished, and long.”
Morandé Adventure is a line of wines that reflects a more experimental work by each of the vineyard’s winemakers. These are wines made without so many rules, surprising for their diversity, innovation, and quality.
In fact, Zekun Shuai described it as viña Morandé’s most impressive line of wines, which are “unusual offerings from younger winemakers made with País, Cinsault, Garnacha, Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier, Malbec, Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot”.
One of the great ranked wines was Vigno 2019, which obtained an outstanding 94 points, highlighting in its tasting note its fresh and concentrated nose, full of red and black fruits, in addition to its extravagant, spicy, and extremely drinkable mouth.
Another of the most outstanding wines was El Gran Petit, which represents the vineyard’s commitment to two little-explored vines, but with great potential: Petite Sirah and Petite Verdot; and that today find their splendor in the La Moralina vineyard in the Cachapoal valley. The 2020 harvest obtained an outstanding 93 points and stood out for its black fruit, good concentration, and powerful tannins.
Mediterráneo 2019, also obtained outstanding 93 points. And it was defined by the specialized critic as “a unique co-fermentation of red and white varieties that shows the Mediterranean freshness of Chile with its spicy and incredibly succulent fruit. With a very low pH and high acidity, it can be a bit demanding for some palates, but should please any “acid fanatic“.”
Despechado 2021 for its part, received 92 points, and its nose full of raspberries, red cherries and fresh strawberries was full of praise from the critic. Also mentioned was its “pristine, elegant, and supple palate with some soft, chalky tannins and fleshy red fruit. Bright, pretty, and almost a little rustic, but in a very positive way.”
El Padre 2020, with which Viña Morandé honors the Cabernet Franc variety, demonstrating its full potential through a complex wine with great structure and elegance, obtained 91 points, as Bestiario 2021 and Creole 2021. For its part, Aterciopelado 2021 received 90 points.
Coming from the most emblematic and largest valley in Chile, these wines highlight ancient traditions of the region, its artisan producers, and its current cultural heritage. This line reflects the pioneering experience of the winery in rescuing ancient winemaking practices, but under a modern prism.
Its Semillón 2021 variety received an outstanding 92 points and was praised for its freshness, notes of green herbs, guava, currant, and lime. “Textured, with zingy, high acidity and showing some green mangos and herbs in the taut, medium-to full-bodied palate. Very succulent!” Shuai mentioned in his tasting note.
The 2019 Carmenère Malbec scored 91 points and was described by the reviewer as “A full-bodied red with juicy black fruit and dried herbs on the palate”. For its part, the Cinsault País 2020 variety was awarded 90 points and was highlighted for its medium-fleshy body, with soft tannins and red fruits on the palate.
BLANC DE NOIR
BLANC DE NOIR
Blanc de Noir is a sparkling wine using the traditional method that is positioned as Viña Morándé’s top-of-the-line sparkling wine. Coming from the Casablanca Valley, this wine has spent 6 years on its lees gaining unparalleled complexity and elegance, scoring an outstanding 93 points in James Suckling’s report and its tasting note describes it as “Almost fully developed, in a complex, vinous way, showing a heady nose of yeast, bread crust, ripe citrus, honey and lots of roasted cashews. Creamy, rich and serious, with a fine edge of balsamic fruit emerging on the yeasty palate. Intense and full with cream, melted mousse and bright acidity. 100% pinot noir. Aged on the lees for 6 years”.
Gran Reserva is Viña Morandé’s most traditional line of wines, which seeks to reflect the best of each of its terroirs. These wines are elegant, structured, and complex that carefully bring together the interaction and balance of the soil, climate, variety, and winemaking processes.
Its Sauvignon Blanc 2021 and Mourvedre 2020 varieties scored 92 points, the latter being highlighted for being “A seductive, fruity and drinkable Mourvèdre with meaty black cherries, plums and roasted Mediterranean spices that extend to a medium body with fresh dark berries. Really juicy and bright with a crunchy mouth-feel and fresh acidity. Well-done! Delicious now, so why wait?”.
For their part, Gran Reserva Pinot Noir 2020 and Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 received 91 points from the critic, and Gran Reserva Carmenere 2020, 90 points.
Finally, Gran Reserva Chardonnay 2020 obtained 90 points and its “Very ripe nose, full of roasted pineapple, spice, dried lemon and almost some honey and grain. Medium-bodied with fresh, medium acidity and tropical fruit and oatmeal on the palate. Rich and balanced”.
Thus, as with these new scores from the James Suckling team, Morandé continues to consolidate itself as a winery with a solid portfolio of excellence, solid and innovation, which reflects the best expression of its origins, in addition to being a winery with a bold spirit that has allowed him to give life to unprecedented wines in the Chilean industry.
WHO IS ZEKUN SHUAI?
Born in China and only 30 years old, Zekun Shuai has been a Senior Editor at JamesSuckling.com for almost 3 years. With a Master in Wine Management from the Burgundy Business School and a WSET diploma, Shuai oversees tasting the wines from South America. He is a journalist and currently resides in Hong Kong.