This week’s WoW, Hacienda Araucano Reserva 2009 Syrah, is from the Lolol Valley located in Chile’s Colchagua Valley, and is made by Bordeaux-based flying winemaker Francois Lurton. The amazingly low price tag of only $14.95 definitely makes this a great value wine.
Francois Lurton is a member of one of Bordeaux’s most famous wine families. His father, Andre, was also in the wine business, reviving many estates in the Pessac-Leognan area of Bordeaux and making wine in Entre Deux Mers, so it seems that wine is in his blood. In 1988, Francois and his brother, Jacques, teamed up to become ‘flying winemakers’ and began making wine not only in Bordeaux, but around the world. They were pioneers in Argentina’s Uco Valley and were soon making wine in Italy, Chile, and Spain, to name a few countries. Jacques eventually wanted a change, so in 2007 the pair agreed to go their separate ways and Francois acquired Jacques share of the business.
In 2000, 200 hectares of land in Lolol Valley, now a sub-appellation of Colchagua Valley, was purchased by Francois and Jacques Lurton. At the time, this land was not used for grape growing, but now the estate has 36 hectares planted with grapes. The Lolol Valley is a cool climate area due to its proximity to the Ocean. Cool morning mists and fog help to retain the acidity and structure of the wine. There is no phylloxera here which enables the vines to be planted on their own rootstocks. Biodynamic practices have been used in the vineyard for a few years, and they hope to be certified organic sometime in 2012 with Biodynamic certification to follow.
Hacienda Araucano Reserva Syrah 2009 is a deep ruby colour with intense aromas of blackberry, black cherry, mocha, spice, licorice, and leather. It’s medium to full-bodied with good acidity and grippy tannins. It exhibits typical Syrah flavours of peppery spice, dark fruit (plum, blackberry), and chocolate, with quite a long finish for a wine in this price range. Decant for about half an hour before serving to let the aromas and flavours open up. Serve with braised lamb shank and mashed potatoes. This wine was just released in Vintages at the LCBO this past weekend, but at this price it probably won’t last long.