Our hard work has been rewarded once more, this time by Rebecca Gibb, New Zealander Master of Wine and wine writer for the prestigious English magazine Decanter. The wine critic tasted hundreds of Sauvignon Blancs, and the word is out: our 2018 Costa Cuarzo Sauvignon Blanc stands out among thousands of wines of this variety grown all over the world.
And so the article begins, going back to the roots of this variety from the Loire valley, where it was deemed a lackluster variety. “And 200 years went by before it began to shine in regions like Sancerre and Pouilly-sur-Loire, which nowadays are synonymous with the greatest Sauvignon Blancs”, says Rebecca Gibb.
From then on Sauvignon Blanc would rise to become one of the most popular wine varieties. In 1990, when the first bottles of Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough arrived in the UK, it was the 25th most planted variety with 47,000 hectares around the world. Today, less than 30 years later, that figure has almost tripled to 123,000 hectares.
As Rebecca says, the winemaking community of our country has beelined for the Pacific coast in search of cooler areas—such as Leyda, Casablanca, or the coast of Colchagua—to grow this variety. The fragrance and freshness of Sauvignon Blanc is preserved in these regions thanks to the influence of the Humboldt Current, which moves cold water and air northwards to the South Pacific along the Chilean coastline.
And the history of Sauvignon Blanc in Chile begins even earlier than in New Zealand; the first vines arrived in our country around 1998 in Leyda. Chilean winemakers understood that the combination of high quality clones with the moderate influence of morning mist and the coastal breeze would invigorate Chilean Sauvignon Blanc.
Currently, the variety is being grown in more and more regions. Such is the case in Paredones, the westernmost sector of Colchagua’s wine region. Colchagua valley is renowned for its full-bodied red wines. However, in 2008 when everyone was talking about Leyda, Biobío and Patagonia, Rebecca Gibb wrote that “in Colchagua, the compass of this variety has aimed west, seeking colder regions.”
Thus, in her book Celebrating Sauvignon Blanc: A global guide, the Master of Wine highlights our Costa Cuarzo Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Paredones. “The vineyard located 9 km from the Pacific Ocean in the Paredones locality of Colchagua delivers this white wine of remarkable fragrance, freshness, and crystalline purity. Along with aromas of flowers and tropical fruit and a charming precision, this white delivers a saline finish of medium longitude. Incredible quality”, the author asserts.