Matetic have three very important things going for them; firstly the passion, dedication, knowledge and talent of the Matetic family and their viticultural and winemaking team. Secondly their organic and biodynamic farming methods show the utmost respect to the vines, the soils and the natural energies of life ensuring there is a purity, vibrancy and energy to the wines that is utterly beguiling. Finally the cool climate is fundamental to producing fresh, supple and bright wines. The Matetic family were the first to start cultivating vines in the Rosario valley, a sub valley of the San Antonio valley to the west of Santiago. Where most vineyards are protected from the ocean breezes by the coastal ranges, the San Antonio Valley is not and the vineyards lie just 12 miles from the South Pacific Ocean and are directly affected by the cold Humbolt current. Cool sea breezes and morning fogs slow the ripening and help retain the freshness and build aromatic complexity in the grapes. Some years it is so cool they can struggle to ripen the grapes – not something you would expect to hear from South America.
If you are one who likes to be ahead of the curve and know where the ‘next best thing’ is hiding, look no further than cool climate Chilean wine. Or, to be more specific; Matetic wines in the very cool San Antonio Valley. Their star, already blazing in the vinous skies, is only getting brighter as Master of Wine Tim Atkin, the industries recognised authority on Chile, has just awarded them the very rare ‘First Growth’ status, or in other words, Damn Good Wines. On a 100 point scale of excellence there are a plethora of wines he has rated in the 90’s, enviable by anyone’s standards (see below for a full list of the wines and their scores). Tim is not the only advocate of Matetic, for James Suckling has also put two Matetic wines in his Top 100 wines of the Andes (in at number 17 for the Matetic Syrah 2012 and number 51 for the EQ Pinot Noir 2015), and the winery has won Gold for the Top Sustainable Winery.
This climate directly influences the type of grapes grown here, and the style of the wines they produce. It is a paradise for Eskimo grapes such as Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir while other varieties such as Chardonnay and Syrah which can adapt to most climates are at their most entrancing here. The style throughout the range is one of freshness, energy and aromatic lift combined with a rich fruitiness.
Amongst the whites, the Sauvignon is crisp and grassy with juicy citrus undertones, the Chardonnay is a complex barrel fermented beauty with peach, spice and citrus notes while the Gewurztraminer is an enticing dry and fresh wine with lychee, rose and lemon peel. For the reds the Pinot Noir boasts silky smooth strawberries, bright cherries and an ethereal earthy undertone while the Syrah, a bolder wine, shows stunning notes of damson, pepper, raspberry and hints of meaty richness.
Matetic may still be hovering under the radar for many people as most retail outlets are still dominated by bulk Merlot and Sauvignon from the hotter Central Valley (which is protected from the cooling ocean influence by the coastal ranges) but please do yourself a favour, trust me, and treat yourself to an extraordinary experience with these tremendous wines. They are truly the First Growths of Chile.
Alex Tilling, Customer Marketing Manager
Tim Atkin’s scores are below, with those below available to buy now, the others are the new vintages we are eagerly awaiting.
Matetic Syrah 2012: 96 points
EQ Syrah 2013: 95 points
EQ Pinot Noir Ltd Edition 2015: 92 points
EQ Pinot Noir 2015: 90 points
EQ Coastal Sauvignon Blanc 2016: 91 points
EQ Chardonnay 2014: 91 points
Corralillo Riesling 2015: 93 points
Corralillo Gewurztraminer 2016: 92 points
Corralillo Syrah 2014: 89 pointsCorralillo Sauvignon Blanc 2016: 89 points