Sauzal Vineyard
Empedrado – Maule Valley
Carignan / Garnacha / Mataró
2015 – Lot #65

“The nose is fresh and has tantalizing aromas of blueberries, violets, orange peel, raspberry leaf and aniseed with a touch of aromatic herbs that provide freshness. The palate is electric, with citric acidity, ultra-fine tannins and very good length. This is both rustic and elegant, wild and subtle. None of these wines show any alcohol or wood. This is a superb, fresh, Mediterranean blend that shows what the Maule is capable of.”
— LG
Alcohol: 13,4
pH  3,35
Acidez:  7,05
Azúcar residual: 1,8. (S02 8)

6 barrels:  3 Carignan, 2 Garnacha, 1 Mataró

1908 bottles filled

In a nutshell:

  • 1 of 11 wines we make from single parcels
  • Grower / partner Nivaldo Morales (and his wife Otelia!)
  • Ancestral farming cultivating vineyard by hand and horse
  • Sauzal Vineyard is found on the Coastal Range of mountains (much older and slower to cool than the Andes) Soils are granitic and sub-soils have cracked granite that allow roots to get deep into cracks.
  • Vineyard is on the sides of a gully and thus fresher due to less early morning and late afternoon sunshine.
  • A tribute to the resilience of the ploughmen farmers of the Maule who have been stewards of the vines since colonial times.

 

The Vintage :

  • Weatherwise rain continued long into Spring and cultivating / ploughing was done more than a month later than ususal in October. Leaves were significantly more autumnal when fruit was picked. Tannins in 2o15 are more than a little bit firmer than normal and the wines more dense. We like vintage variance to show through in the wines. That sid we hope people hold on to wines in accordance with said vintage variance.
  • In a retrospective tasting of various vintages lately 2015 came to be called the year of the grip. All of the parcels will take longer to come into their own. In 2o15 we began a our transition from limited experiments with whole stems in fermentation lagars to a broader production using this technique– less pisoneo or punch-down and more raqui or stems.
  • Whilst 2015 should be the year to taste this change, we think many will see 2016 as the watershed year, because 2015 is just too big to taste the difference yet. 2015 is a year to release later and a year to hold on to more bottles for late-release!

Denominación de Origen: Sauzal / Empedrado / Maule Valley    (Secano Interior)

Color: Yes – heaps

Tipo:  Broad-shouldered, well-braced. Perfume and earth.

Tipo de uva: Carignan, Garnacha & Mataró field-blend

The Vineyard :

Carignan aprox 75 yrs

Garnacha & Mataro grafted on roots of Pais 150 yrs +

Wine making:

  • Ancestral farming by hand and horse
  • Naturally fermented with native yeasts
  • Open top fermenters. Caps were punched down by hand. Pressing manual.
  • Small portion was made with whole stems stomped with clean feet—this part was more tannic and with higher VA and complemented the rest of the barrels.
  • Aged in barrels over two winters— barrels third use or more.
  • Yeasts native (we add Sauzal wine from previous vintage to a pie de cuba)
  • No temp control (besides opening closing windows) open tank, no nada
  • Pinch of sulfites after Malolactic that normally finishes a full 7 months after harvest with next summer´s heat

Crianza:

  • Aged in barrels over two winters— barrels third use or more.
  • various cooperages (Sylvain, Berger, Nadalie – Alliers Noisette toast, and some Burgundy barrels

¿How many lots are there of this wine?

  • Lot made from a small single parcel with ancestral farming (there was no monkey business nor tweaking with other bits we had around bodega from other parcels)
  • When we find a barrel marks the blend too much we reserve the right to remove it before we blend for bottling. (We store these barrels for a 3rd and or 4th winter in oldest barrels and eventually include in Perverso our solera blend second wine.
  • The 65th wine we have bottled produced since 2001 it is marked Lot # 65

 

T a s t i n g   N o t e 

 “The nose is fresh and has tantalizing aromas of blueberries, violets, orange peel, raspberry leaf and aniseed with a touch of aromatic herbs that provide freshness. The palate is electric, with citric acidity, ultra-fine tannins and very good length. This is both rustic and elegant, wild and subtle. None of these wines show any alcohol or wood. This is a superb, fresh, Mediterranean blend that shows what the Maule is capable of.”
— Luis Gutierrez

“Soft and velvety with hints of dark fruits and spices. Some walnut. Medium to full body, round tannins and a savory finish. Funky old vine wine.” 
— James Suckling

C r i t i c s    N o t e s

Descorchados 2017 Patricio Tapia
Sauzal Vineyard Carignan/Garnacha/Mataró Field Blend 2015 Lot #65 – 95 Pts
Sauzal Vineyard Lot 65 Carignan, Garnacha, Mataró 2015 De un viejo viñedo de carignan en la zona de Sauzal, en donde también había país que se ha injertado con garnacha y monastrell o mataró, este es una verdadera mezcla mediterránea y funciona como tal. Llena de notas florales, a frutas negras intensas, y una acidez que marca los contornos de la lengua y una profundidad deliciosa. Es un vino tremendo en porte, pero a la vez tremendo en frescor. Déjenlo en la cava por unos 2 a 3 años, cuando menos.

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate # 239

Sauzal Vineyard Maule Valley Carignan, Garnacha & Mataró Field-blend 2015  – Lot # 65 – 93+ Pts

A field blend of Carignan, Garnacha and Mataró, the 2015 Sauzal Vineyard is produced with grapes from the vineyard of Nivaldo Morales in the village of Sauzal. It’s an expressive, powerful, very Mediterranean vintage for this wine. This has quite a lot of other grapes, but the imprint of the Cariñena seems to be quite strong. This lot #65 was put into 1,908 bottles in November 2016.

 

Notes on Previous Vintages from this parcel

Descorchados 2017 Patricio Tapia
Sauzal Vineyard Carignan/Garnacha/Mataró Field Blend 2014 Lot #55 – 95 Pts
De aromas un tanto más maduros y algunos leves torrados. La boca es recia y jugosísima, ideal para esos cerdos cocidos a la llama por horas y horas.

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate # 23o

Sauzal Vineyard Maule Valley Carignan, Garnacha & Mataró Field-blend 2014  – Lot # 55 – 93 Pts

The 2014 Sauzal Vineyard is also a field blend of Carignan, Garnacha and Mataró (Monastrell) from the vineyard of Nivaldo Morales in Sauzal on degraded granite soils that allow roots to get deep into cracks. Tannins in 2015 were a little bit firmer than normal and the wines in general a little denser. Nivaldo cultivates his vineyards in an ancestral way, by hand and horse. A small portion of the grapes were kept with whole stems and stomped by feet and resulted in more tannic and slightly higher volatile acidity that complemented the rest of the barrels. It’s more powerful, with flowers, spices and something earthy, resinous even. The palate is medium to full-bodied with balance in a slightly XL way, lifted by great acidity. 1,694 bottles were produced from three barrels of Carignan, two of Garnacha and one of Mataró. It was bottled in November 2015. Drink 2017–2027 –  Luis Gutierrez

James Suckling .com May 25th 2017
Sauzal Vineyard Maule Valley Carignan, Garnacha & Mataró Field-blend 2014  – Lot # 55 – 93 Pts
Soulful red with juicy and earth with meat and berry. Full body and beautiful. Long and flavorful. Juicy and intense.

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate #222  Dec 2015
Sauzal Vineyard Carignan/Garnacha/Mataró Field Blend 2013 Lot #45 – 94 Pts
I visited an amazing vineyard from a grower called Nivaldo Morales with Derek Mossman, an old vineyard planted mostly with País and some Carignan, and some País vines were regrafted to Garnacha, Mataró (Monastrell) and Garnacha (Grenache). The 2013 Lot #45 Carignan Garnacha Mataró Field Blend is sourced from that Sauzal vineyard in the Maule Valley. A very similar wine is also sold in the United Kingdom as The Ploughmen. The nose is fresh and has tantalizing aromas of blueberries, violets, orange peel, raspberry leaf and aniseed with a touch of aromatic herbs that provide freshness. The palate is electric, with citric acidity, ultra-fine tannins and very good length. This is both rustic and elegant, wild and subtle. None of these wines show any alcohol or wood. This is a superb, fresh, Mediterranean blend that shows what the Maule is capable of. Bravo! Around 2,500 bottles were produced.  Drink 2015 – 2021 Luis Gutierrez

Descorchados 2016 Patricio Tapia
LOT # 45 SAUZAL VINEYARD Carignan, Garnacha, Mataró 2013 Dominado por una acidez deliciosa, este tinto se mueve con nervio por la boca, como su tuviera su propia luz. Delicioso. 93 pts Patricio Tapia

Tim Atkin MW

Sauzal Vineyard Carignan/Garnacha/Mataró Field Blend 2014 Lot #55 – 91 Pts

 

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Pictures of this vineyard taken over the past few years:

https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/gwcosauzalvineyard/