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Chile's Errazuriz plans assault on top-end wine market in 2016

Published:  09 September, 2015

Chilean wine producer Errazuriz is lining up a UK release for two top-end wines from its cool climate Aconcagua Costa vineyards in the spring of 2016.

Winemaker Franciso Baettig hopes the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines - to be sub-labelled Pizarra - will establish specific plots as the equivalent of a "grand cru" for the region.

The grapes for the 2014 vintage wines came from vineyards planted on schist soil - similar to Priorat in Spain and parts of the Douro valley - and the name Pizarra is the Spanish word for slate.

Baettig told "The vineyards are in the upper part of the region which gives a drier, minerally character, whereas at the bottom end you get a richer, bigger, more fruit-driven style.

"It isn't necessarily that one is better than the other but by mapping the vineyards we've been able to identify areas that will give us different styles.

"Chile has come a long way in the last few years. We've looked for the right sites and the right climate, then made changes to improve things, then looked at grapes and clones and made changes - and finally we're looking at the soil on which we grow grapes. We're closing the circle on the terroir concept."

Only 240 cases of the Pizarra Chardonnay and 300 cases of Pinot Noir will be released. The Chardonnay will be the equivalent of US$50 (currently around £32.50) with the Pinot Noir at US$100 (£65).

Errazuriz is represented by Hatch Mansfield in the UK.