Wine writer Wanda Mann had the pleasure of meeting Errázuriz winemaker Francisco Baettig this past spring when he visited New York. She has shared her tasting experience on The Black Dress Traveler, highlighting three of the winery’s signature wines: MAX Chardonnay Reserva, Aconcagua Costa Pinot Noir and Don Maximiano Founder’s Reserve. Wanda outlines some of Francisco’s accomplishments at Errázuriz, including Chile 2018 Special Report Winemaker of the Year and a 100-Point score from James Suckling for the Viñedo Chadwick 2014. She adds, “Francisco has certainly earned the right to be a bit boastful but he’s endearingly humble and would rather discuss the finer points of vineyard management, soil types, and barrels. Francisco’s laser-sharp focus on making high quality wine can be tasted in the bottle.” Read the full story HERE and her additional wine notes below:
Wanda Mann’s Tasting Notes:
Errazuriz Max Chardonnay Reserva 2017 ($20) is all about freshness and crisp fruit. 100% Chardonnay, juicy fruit is accented by hints of spice – the result of 10 months of barrel aging in French oak. Charming and a bit creamy with flavors of crisp golden apple and a tangy tinge of lemon custard.
Simplicity is the beauty of Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Pinot Noir 2017 ($20). Fresh cherry and strawberry flavors really shine in this juicy red. Hints of earth and tea leaves add depth and dimension. A real charmer! (I tasted the 2017 but the 2018 vintage is now available.)
Errazuriz Don Maximiano Founder’s Reserve 2016 ($115) isn’t just a fine Chilean wine, it’s an impressive wine, period. A blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Malbec, and Petit Verdot; the first vintage of Don Maximiano was introduced with the 1983 vintage and was one of the first “Super-Chileans.” The estate’s flagship wine, the 2016 vintage of Don Maximiano was aged 22 months in French oak. Francisco said, “the style of the house is not too much oak” and it’s true — the use of oak is very judicious and doesn’t overwhelm the wine. This elegant red is fresh and vibrant with impeccable structure and intense flavors of red cherry, pomegranate, violet, blackberry, and blueberry. Delicious now, this wine has what it takes to age beautifully.
Introduced with the 1983 vintage, Don Maximiano was among the first of the new generation of “Super-Chileans.” As the flagship for the estate, the wine consistently receives top ratings from critics.
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.
Aconcagua Valley, Chile
Errázuriz is recognized as perhaps the single top quality producer of Chilean wines, within recent years alone Eduardo Chadwick, President, named Decanter Man of the Year 2018, and the winery awarded Best Chilean Winery 2017 by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate.