2018 El Principal Calicanto
Viña EL Principal belongs to the absolute top from South America - Chile and that is not surprising because the house was founded in 1993 by partners Jorge Fontaine Aldunate, owner of the El Principal estate, and Jean Paul Valette, French winemaker and former owner of the famous Premier Grand Cru Classé Château Pavie in Saint-Émilion. Today the owner is the Said Sandal Family and the winery is of the most exclusive and premium in Chile with only 4 wines, but a range of wines of the highest quality that captures the spirit and typicity of Chilean terroir. The hand, tradition and experience of the Valette family of Château Pavie is reflected in every element and the style (and choice of grape variety) inextricably has a Bordelaises St Emillion twist, but that is not surprising given the background.
Located at the foot of the Andes Mountains in the Alto Maipo Valley (DO Maipo Andes), El Principal's terroir was perfect for their project; The unique combination of climate, soil type and altitude made it ideal for producing wines with character, unique identity and extraordinary quality.
The season was characterized by a rainy winter and a spring with good temperatures, clarity and no precipitation. The summer to the month of January recorded moderate temperatures and good accumulation of degree days, then two weeks of high temperatures were recorded in February and then got a month of fresh March and very moderate temperatures, resulting in slow accumulation of sugars, conservation of acidity and a delay in the harvest date of the grapes. The yield was 20% higher than the previous season with grapes of good colour, high acidity and ripe tannins.
Since the first vintage of Calicanto in 2007, this red blend from Andetelmo Estate has been distinguished by its fresh and fruity character, spicy notes and polished, silky tannins. Partly due to the higher altitude vineyards from Andes, the Callicanto gets an extra dose of brightness and freshness. Wonderfully fruity with herbal and berry flavors combined with a spicy spicy touch. Medium-bodied with fine and round tannins, a soft texture and a good balance, incomparable to the often very fruit-driven wines from Chile. This is a Chilean Frenchman not surprising if the base and training comes from Château Pavie.
The vineyard is located at 770 m above sea level and consists of Loam - Colluvial origin. The vineyard is strongly influenced by the Ocean with a significant influence from the Andes Mountains. The average is between 18°C and 22°C. The wine is a blend of the typical French varieties: 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Carmenère, 3% Malbec, 3% Cabernet Franc, 7% Syrah which is aged for 12 months in 100% French oak
Calicanto was named in honor of the first bridge built over the Mapocho River in the city of Santiago between 1767 and 1782. Over time, several shops and businesses grew up along its sides, making it one of the first commercial centers for Chilean wine. Like that first bridge, Calicanto symbolizes the union between tradition and modernity and a commitment to producing wines of the highest quality that express the soul of the Chilean terroir through the French varieties planted in the vineyards.
|Type of Wine||Red|
|Winery||Viña EL Principal|
|Grape||Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Syrah-Shiraz|
|Drinking as of||2022|
|James Suckling rating||91|
|Tasting Profiles||Earthy, Dark fruit, Dry, Aged on wood, Powerful, Tannines, Full|
|Drink moments||Barbecue, Lekker luxe, Met vrienden, Open haard|