Vina Ventisquero Tara Pinot Noir 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 Pinot Noir weaves ripe strawberry, raspberry and alluring dark berry fruit with a savoury, almost meaty character. The inclusion of layers of stems in between the grapes during fermentation is a technique practiced in Burgundy and produces marvellous results here too, making superbly balanced and easily drinkable pinot noir. It is a touch reminiscent of Pommard without losing its Atacama charm, and softened by a spell in untoasted oak barrels and concrete egg.