Monday, 10 December 2007

TN : Veramonte Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2005, Colchagua Valley, Chile

The vintner was Agustin Huneeus. He is also the founder. He is a native of Chile and entered the wine business in 1960 as the principal stockholder and chief executive officer of Concha y Toro. Then a small winery, Concha y Toro grew to become Chile’s largest winery under Huneeus’ leadership.

In 1971, Chile’s difficult political climate led Huneeus to leave his home country. He subsequently headed Seagram’s worldwide operations based in New York, responsible for wineries in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Argentina, Brazil and New Zealand, as well as California. Huneeus joined Franciscan in 1985 as partner and acting president. In addition to running 3 wineries in the United States for Franciscan, Huneeus developed two well-known Chilean brands, Caliterra and Errazuriz, later selling interest in both, and with his wife, purchased the Quintessa estate in Napa Valley in 1989.

In the early 1990s, he also discovered the winemaking potential of the Casablanca Valley in Chile. He found the climate, soils and terroir to be perfect for grape growing, yet there were less than 100 acres planted there at the time. Combining over forty years of wine growing experience with Casablanca’s unique terroir, Huneeus set out to craft wines that express the diverse estate’s terroir and build a winery to house Chile’s first Napa Valley-style visitor center.
He lives in California at the Quintessa estate and in San Francisco, and spends several months a year in Chile.

Agustin Francisco, the president of Veramonte, began his career in the wine business in 1989 after graduating from the University of California at Berkeley at Franciscan Estates, a Napa Valley based wine company his father ran. Relocating to his family’s native Chile for two years, he was instrumental in developing two well-known Chilean wineries, Caliterra and Errazuriz.
He returned to the USA and received an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He moved to San Francisco and became an associate in the branded consumer venture group Hambrecht & Quist, where he gained management and marketing experience consulting with a variety of branded consumer products companies. He returned to Franciscan Estates in 1996 to lead the company’s sales and marketing team and launch Veramonte nationally and internationally. He left Franciscan Estates in 2004 to again work with his father running a family-owned and operated wine company of wineries which includes Quintessa, Veramonte and Faust.

Agustin Francisco worked closely with his father on the development of the Veramonte Estate and today speaks around the world about the growth and future of the Chilean wine industry. “In the ten years since we planted in Veramonte, it has become one of the most important appellations in Chile. Chile and the Casablanca Valley will continue to emerge as a powerful producer of wine,” says Agustin.

Rafael Tirado became the winemaker at Veramonte in 1997, bringing his experience from the cellars of Chile, France and Spain along with degrees in agronomy and enology. “My aim is to produce complex wines that balance ripe fruit with the judicious use of oak, allowing the flavors of the grape to shine through,” says Tirado. He holds great pride for his role in pioneering winemaking in the Casablanca valley. “This area holds the potential to produce wines that will compete with the finest in the world.”

There is no information about this wine on the Veramonte website. The current release is stated as being the 2004.

Colour : Deep cassis

Aroma : Vegetal, oak, slight dark fruit

Taste : Blackcurrant, coffee, oak, slight vegetal, warm finish

Alcohol : 13.5 %

Price : 99 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : Veramonte

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