Review: Wines of Ventisquero, 2022 Releases
Felipe Tosso, head winemaker at Chile’s Ventisquero, was recently in town to showcase his wines. Our schedules didn’t align, so we did the next best thing: Connecting over Zoom to discuss his approach to winemaking in this 2600-mile long country, his philosophy running to low intervention, basic production techniques, and minimal filtration. Tosso is all about letting his wines showcase their terroir, and he presented a trilogy of his greatest hits during our tasting session. Let’s dive in.
2020 Ventisquero Tara White Wine #1 Atacama – Actually chardonnay fermented with native yeast, grown in one of the driest places in the world, the coastal side of the Atacama desert. A low-intervention wine (Tosso doesn’t use the term “natural wine”), it is aged on the lees in concrete and neutral oak for 2 years then bottled unfiltered (and as such is quite cloudy). Beautiful stuff. Rich, notes of lemon curd and green apple move into notes of apricot and some coconut, with a pinch of salinity in the mix. Exquisitely balanced, with just the right amount of punch in the body — and no overbearing oak to slap you around. A / $34
2018 Ventisquero Grey [Glacier] Cabernet Sauvignon Trinidad Vineyard – One of 10 different wines under the Grey label, this one from Chile’s Maipo Valley. A classically structured, straightforward expression of cabernet. Bristling with fruit, ripe and juicy with notes of cassis and raspberry, moving gently into vanilla and some milk chocolate notes. Some orange peel on the finish. Wholly approachable, if short on complexity. B+ / $24
2019 Ventisquero Vertice Apalta Vineyard – A carmenere/syrah blend (52%/48%). Made with mountain fruit. A bit on the sweet side, more strawberry than raspberry, with tons of vanilla in the mix. Atypical structure for these grapes, without the aggressive earthiness and meatiness that one typically finds in both varietals. Plenty of baking spice notes, with ample milk chocolate on the finish. B+ / $34
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