In 2011, I visited Casas del Bosque in the Casablanca Valley of Chile. I remember the winemaker saying at that time that the Casablanca Valley can produce some of the most interesting Sauvignon Blanc in the world. The perfect combination of a cooler climate, complex soils, and coastal influences can make a Sauvignon Blanc that has some of the citrus-grapefruit flavors we love from New Zealand mixed with the mineral-grassy flavors of the Loire Valley. We have worked with Casas del Bosque for ten years now and have watched the wines get better and better each vintage. We carry most wines they produce, but this is a new offering from a single vineyard from the Casas del Bosque estate, located within the coolest, westernmost reaches of the Casablanca Valley. The grapes come from “La Cantera'' or the vineyard known as “The Quarry” where they are planted on an east-facing hillside of decomposed granite soil. There is plenty of sun exposure and marine breezes that characterize the Casablanca Valley, and this helps produce their well known aromatic wines.
Casas del Bosque is a family-owned winery located just 20 minutes from the Pacific Ocean. The Cuneo family, immigrants to Chile from northern Italy, founded Casas del Bosque in 1993. Their goal was to own a boutique winery that produced modest amounts of top-quality wine. Casas del Bosque was one of the first wineries in the Casablanca Valley. The Valley is unique because it has a much cooler climate than most other grape growing regions in Chile.
Casablanca Valley's unique microclimate boasts hot days and cool nights due to the Humboldt current that brings up cold ocean water from Antarctica. The hot days allow the grapes to ripen perfectly, while the cool nights help the grapes retain freshness and acidity. One of Casas del Bosque’s greatest strengths is the soil. In the hills, red volcanic clay sits on top of decomposed granite formed 110 million years ago beneath the Pacific Ocean. Clay soils generally stay cooler during the day and are important for producing bold flavors in wine.
Casas del Bosque’s new wine consultant Sam Harrop, Master of Wine, also owns a winery in New Zealand, home to many top Sauvignon Blancs. His goal was to take this single vineyard “La Cantera” and create a wine superior in quality to the best of New Zealand. This is only the second vintage and it certainly deserves to be tasted by fans of New Zealand wines and of the Sauvignon Blanc varietal. Only about 3,500 cases were produced and only 250 cases made it to the US!
92 Points - Vinous
"The 2020 Sauvignon Blanc La Cantera Botanic Series from Casablanca is steely with complex, citrus aromas ranging from grapefruit to lime over a core of black currant and grass. Intense in the mouth, it delivers a well-judged malic freshness and expressive flavors before the lengthy, fragrant finish. The perfect aperitif." - Joaquin Hidalgo
90 Points - JamesSuckling.com
"A medium-bodied white with aromas of lime zest, gooseberry and cut grass. Sea salt, too. Bright and tangy with a fresh, mineral finish. Drink now. Screw cap." - James Suckling
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