MAX Chardonnay 2017
The exceptional soils and cool ocean breeze provide optimal conditions for Chardonnay in Errazuriz’ coastal vineyards, located just 8 miles from the Pacific. The diverse soils control plant vigor, producing fruit that is balanced yet intensely concentrated, with a beautiful fresh citrus and mineral profile.
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.
MAX Chardonnay is produced from grapes grown at the Errazuriz vineyards in Manzanar, a 2,500-acre property with rolling hills located just 7 miles from the Pacific Ocean. The cool meso-climate is ideal for growing cold-climate varieties such as Chardonnay. 70 acres of three Dijon clones of Chardonnay were planted there in 2005. Clone 548 produces grapes with tremendous concentration and structure, while grapes from clone 95 are very aromatic, with citrus and tropical notes. Clone 76 adapts very well to the cold-climate conditions and ripens quite early in the season.
The vineyards are drip irrigated and trellised to vertical shoot position on soils that have a thin, 15-30 inch layer of loam texture over a layer of clay and broken slate-like rocks (schist) that is responsible for the minerality found in Errazuriz’ wines from the coast.
Grapes were handpicked early in the morning and whole-cluster pressed. The must was cold decanted in stainless steel tanks in pursuit of greater clarity. Fermentation took place in French oak barrels, 17% new and the rest of second or third use. Approximately 30% of the final blend underwent malolactic fermentation. The wine stayed in touch with its finest lees while ageing for 10 months in barrels.
The 2017 vintage was characterized by a mild and dry winter, followed by a very sunny and warm summer, finalized by an early harvest. As a result the vintage produced wines with sophistication that beautifully balance fruit concentration, structure and depth mainly given the season’s particularly low yields. The wines of 2017 have an immense sense of purity, minerality, intensity and structure.
This Chardonnay is filled with bright acidity and vivid aromas. Floral aromas of ripe apple, apricot, vanilla and a touch of spice combine with the rich apple flavors and crisp acidity. In the mouth, this wine is elegant and impressive, showing good acidity, structure and the fine balance characteristic of the Aconcagua Costa terroir.
Certified Sustainable. Environmentally friendly processes include using gravity instead of pumps to move wine, controlling temperatures with wind in underground ducts to avoid use of air conditioning, and using solar panels and special window glass to save energy.
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Decanter - "Errazuriz is doing an outstanding job with Chardonnay and is now undoubtedly a leading name on the world stage. This is a style that wears its oak on its sleeve but in a stylish way, with toasted-nut and clotted-cream aromas leading into a complex but refreshing palate and an energetic, revitalizing finish."
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