On a day like today, 47 years ago, Apolo XI landed on the Moon. The world watched in awe when six hours later (21th by then) astronaut Neil Armstrong opened the hatch and his small step was deemed a giant leap for mankind.
There is a dessert in Chile called Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon) which resembles what NASA found on the Earth’s satellite back in ’69, but fortunately, not all of Chile’s valleys have a lunar landscape, although many winemakers are researching and pushing boundaries with the brilliance of rocket scientists.
Leyda Pinot Noir Las Brisas 2012 is a fine example of modern, New World, cool climate Pinot Noir. It comes from Chile’s Leyda Valley, within the San Antonio Valley and it’s a privileged spot for growing Burgundy’s capricious diva grape.
This fickle variety reacts well to the southwest orientated slopes of the single-vineyard at Leyda State where it’s planted. Protected from excessive sunlight and able to enjoy a gentle yet constant breeze from the Pacific Ocean (just 12 km away), it ripens slowly allowing flavours to develop gracefully. You really don’t want to rush Pinot Noir.
With 14.5% ABV, it is slightly stronger than its Burgundian namesakes, but the acidity that the grapes retain allows the alcohol to feel balanced. Tannins are naturally coy so winemakers did well by ageing 30% of the wine in first, second and third use French oak barrels for 10 months. This gives the result a little confidence push in the tannin department while the use of steel tanks for the rest preserves the freshness of its fruity aromas and flavours.
Ripe, juicy cherries are the first to show up, followed by a blend of warm, sweet spices and a leafy note. Flavours are long lasting and fresh, this is a red that will benefit from a few minutes in the fridge before serving (14 or 15° will do, we don’t want to over chill it and put those lovely aromas to sleep).
Leyda Pinot Noir Las Brisas 2012 is available at O’Briens Wines at €17.95 and it’s currently on offer at €14.95.
Gabriela’s passion for writing is only matched by her love for food and wine. Journalist, confectioner and sommelier, she fell in love with Ireland years ago and moved from Venezuela to Dublin in 2014.
Since then, she has written about and worked in the local food scene, and she’s determined to discover and share the different traditions, flavours and places that have led Irish food and drink to fascinate her.