Viña Leyda – Masters of Chilean Pinot Noir

Viña Leyda's El Granito vineyard in Chile’s burgeoning Leyda Valley
Viña Leyda’s El Granito vineyard in Chile’s burgeoning Leyda Valley

Back in 1998, when Viña Leyda started to plant its first vineyards, few in the world of wine suspected that the Leyda Valley had the potential to produce high-end cool climate wines. Yet this burgeoning area in Chile’s Valparaiso Region was on the verge of making a name for itself on the global stage. Today, a quarter of a century later, the Leyda Valley is renowned for its cold climate wines. Pioneering winery Viña Leyda, meanwhile, has established a reputation as one of the top producers of Pinot Noir in Chile.

Aerial shot of Leyda Valley winemaking region in Chile

The Leyda Valley is located to the west of the Cordillera de la Costa mountain range, 250m above sea level and just 12km from the Pacific Ocean

The Leyda Valley

With 1,800 hectares under vine, the Leyda Valley is a unique terroir where the climate, geography and soils combine to produce some of the most distinguished wines in coastal Chile. Located to the west of the Cordillera de la Costa mountain range, 250m above sea level and just 12km from the Pacific Ocean, sea breezes carry cold air into the valley. This results in a cool climate with minimal variations in temperature between day and night. These distinctive conditions ensure that grapes ripen slowly and result in intense, aromatic wines with high acidity.

Another distinguishing factor in this region is the landscape. Gentle hills with granitic soils rich in calcium carbonate and clay helps to lend structure and concentration to the fruit. At 120 million years old, the ancient granitic soils of the Cordillera de la Costa are thought to play a crucial role in bringing a notable mineral quality to the wines.

Viña Leyda's El Maitén vineyards in the Leyda Valley, Chile

Viña Leyda’s El Maitén vineyards are nestled in viticultural paradise in the Leyda Valley.

Experts in Pinot Noir

In this viticultural paradise, Viña Leyda has developed two renowned vineyards – El Granito and El Maitén. The winery produces three ranges: Reserva, Coastal Vineyards and Lot. Key varieties include Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris and Syrah, however Pinot Noir is the winery’s shining star.

‘Pinot Noir is one of the region’s treasures as it develops a remarkable character and sense of place based on the authenticity of the terroir,’ shares Vivana Navarrete, head of winemaking since 2007. ‘These are cool climate mineral wines in which the proximity of the sea is genuinely tangible.’

‘For years we’ve been doing exhaustive work in the vineyard classifying plots according to the great diversity of soils we have found in the valley, ranging from pure granite to coastal terraces with high calcium carbonate content for our range of Pinot Noirs,’ adds Tomás Rivera, viticulturist at Viña Leyda since 2012. ‘The result is several quite different but exquisite Pinot Noir wines.’

Viña Leyda Pinot Noir

Viña Leyda has built a reputation as one of the top producers of Pinot Noir in Chile.

Key wines in the portfolio

The first wine to highlight is Viña Leyda Reserva Pinot Noir, a young wine with blueberry and raspberry notes. This is an aromatic, herbaceous Pinot, with a fresh and juicy mouthfeel. Next there’s Coastal Vineyards Las Brisas Pinot Noir. Fermented in stainless steel and aged in French oak, concrete tank and foudre, the wine offers up aromatic intensity, with floral, sour red fruit and spiced character. Deep and vibrant on the palate, this Pinot is a wonderful expression of its granitic soils.

The jewel in the Viña Leyda’s crown, however, is Viña Leyda Lot 21 Pinot Noir. The wine is a blend of wines that have been vinified separately (53% foudre, 15% concrete egg, 32% used barrel), then matured in concrete eggs for 6 months prior to bottling. Ruby red in the glass, it offers aromas of cherry, blackcurrant and raspberry, with gently spiced, earthy character and a floral flourish. Firm on the palate, accompanied by a vibrant acidity that underscores its texture and tension, speaking of calcium carbonate and granite-led soils.

As Navarrete…

Source : https://www.decanter.com/sponsored/vina-leyda-masters-of-chilean-pinot-noir-529497/