Unearthing the Forgotten Charm of Chile:
“You cannot grow terroir.” –Pedro Parra
It is no secret that Chile has shared a passionate love affair with Bordeaux wines throughout history. Renowned for exporting wines made from exquisite French red varietal blends such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and the rising star, Syrah. While the world has long been captivated by the wines of Chile’s renowned northern regions like Casablanca and Maipu, there is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered in the far reaches of the country Itata and Bio Bio, knocking on the door of recognition, have caught my attention with their stellar creation—Pencopolitano.
Nestled between the Itata and Bio Bio Valleys, Concepcion stands as an enigmatic province in Chile’s arid climate. While the rest of the country showcases the luscious fruitiness of California and the restrained elegance of Bordeaux, the south undergoes a remarkable transformation due to the cool Pacific Ocean breeze, abundant rainfall, and cloud coverage. This unique climate slows down the ripening process, allowing the grapes to retain more acidity, a vital component for crafting balanced wines. But that’s not all – it’s the granite soils that make this region truly special.
Crazy For Granite
In the world of wine, a fierce battle is raging, commonly known as the “Wine World War 2.” Wine regions worldwide are fiercely protecting their names and territories from being misused on labels. Enter Pedro Parra, a visionary hailing from Concepcion, who is leading a revolution to legally safeguard the granite-dominated soils of Chile’s southern hemisphere. Itata and Bio Bio exist in a time warp, shielded by granite mountains, and their winemakers are disconnected from the trends that have shaped Chilean wine over the past four decades. Parra’s mission echoes that of his French counterparts – to create transparent wines that authentically reflect their terroir, with a touch of pure granite soils. Bordeaux varieties need not apply for citizenship, as they are unwelcome in this part of the country.
Pedro Parra is not just a winemaker but also a consultant to the stars. Hailing from humble beginnings in Concepcion, he has become one of the world’s foremost authorities on terroir. With a master’s degree in precision agriculture and a Ph.D. earned from the Paris Center of Agriculture for his groundbreaking work with terroir, he has been sought after by esteemed vignerons from around the globe – Argentina, USA, Italy, Canada, France, and Armenia, to name a few. However, his greatest inspiration comes from his home and his family, as they hold the center of his universe.
Pencopolitano Pedro Parra Y Familia Review
Now, let’s delve into the Pencopolitano Pedro Parra y Familia. This thoughtful blend is crafted from hand-harvested organic grapes, comprising 30% Malbec, 25% Syrah, 19% Carmenère, 11% Carignan, 11% Cinsault, and 4% Pais.
As you pour the wine, a radiant medium-red ruby with a soft pinkish hue at the rim greets your eyes.
The nose reveals a medium intensity, offering freshly picked ripe red mountain berries, red currants, juicy cranberries, and wild strawberries delicately perfumed with cherry blossoms and hibiscus. Undertones of savory dried herbs and underbrush add depth, while a focused mineral element adds a crucial dimension.
On the palate, this wine showcases its allure – dry with medium-plus acidity, a medium body, and medium-plus alcohol. The solid medium-plus tannins contribute to its velvety texture. With a ripened fresh juicy red fruit profile, the wine offers gentle floral notes, intertwined with anise, crushed black pepper, and a dash of bittersweet cocoa. The elegant and persistent finish whispers a sweet tale of red fruits and spices, inviting you to savor it further.
Pencopolitano Pedro Parra y Familia gracefully aged in concrete eggs for nine months, allowing the wine to develop its unique character while preserving the purity of the fruit and the terroir. This distinctive blend harmonizes the finesse of Burgundy, the wildness of Rhône, and the vibrant energy of Chile.
Pair this enchanting wine with grilled wild salmon glazed with a soy and honey reduction, accompanied by a medley of roasted root vegetables and fresh herbs. The umami flavors of the dish will resonate beautifully with the wine’s natural elegance and charm.
This wine is a love affair waiting to happen. It dances delicately on the palate, showcasing a perfect balance between vibrant fruitiness and a concentrated mineral presence that awakens the senses. Its enchanting spiciness adds an intriguing dimension, while its pretty aromas captivate the nose. This wine is a harmonious blend of refinement and boldness, striking the delicate balance between the two. At first glance, one might expect a powerhouse wine, brimming with rich fruit and masculine aromas, but this wine defies expectations. It doesn’t cater to those seeking a bombastic display of the grape varieties it comprises, known for its loud and bold characteristics. Instead, it is a testament to the skill and artistry of a producer who understands the intricacies that make a wine truly exceptional.
In a world where uniformity can be overwhelming, the wines of the South stand out like a magnificent aria in an opera hall. The Pencopolitano Pedro Parra y Familia is a testament to the untapped potential that lies in the southern realms of Chile. It is a journey of discovery, a testament to the pursuit of authenticity, and a celebration of the wonders that nature has bestowed upon us.
“I hope to help all those brave vignerons that protected for more than 200 years their vines, against the industrial forest companies, against politicians, against the big wine industries who abuse them, paying them almost zero for their best grapes. And I dream to see those places, and my home, Concepción, becoming the wine center of the universe.” –Pedro Parra
Let us raise our glasses to this extraordinary creation and toast to the past, present, and thrilling adventures that await us on the winding path of wine. Cheers!
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