Vina Ventisquero Tara Chardonnay 2018 Atacama Chile
Just 18km from the Pacific Ocean on the border of Chile's Atacama desert lies the Vina Ventisquero estate. Contending with extremely dry, visibly salt-streaked soils is a huge challenge and this may be one of the most extreme environments on Earth for grape vines to grow in.
Fortunately a very dense fog brings much-needed moisture for just 45 minutes each morning and evening to enable viticulture and the limestone soils found here are ideally suited to producing exemplary chardonnay and pinot noir grapes.
Aficionados of Chile's new wave wines have long known that terroir is not solely confined to European vineyards and, if proof were ever needed, this wine offers up clear and compelling evidence, tasting firmly of the unique Atacama land.
The 2018 Chardonnay opens with fresh grapefruit, ripe apple and lemon curd around a core of white peach and stone fruit, finishing especially salty. Fermented in steel and some old oak this has lovely texture and complex bread dough flavours from time on the fine lees, caressing the fresh fruit. Really impressive winemaking that teases inspiration from Burgundy yet develops a modern Chilean feel all of its own.
This wine is unfiltered and therefore may throw a slight haze.