What do Chateau d’Yquem, Joseph Phelps, Leoville Las Cases, Champagne Roederer, and Dominus Estate have in common? First, they all share the same winemaking consultant, Xavier Chone. Originally hailing from Bordeaux, he is considered one of the world’s best living winemakers.
The Maquis bottlings from Chile are a rare chance to experience his work without shelling out a fortune. Chone has worked at Vina Maquis for a decade at this point, ever since the Hurtado family decided to build a winery on their 100-year-old vineyard holdings in Colchagua Valley.
Wine Review: Maquis 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Colchagua Valley
This is a blockbuster of a wine, but not in a typical Chilean way. The winery harvest much earlier than is typical, and the fruit and body aren’t as overwhelming or over-extracted as expected for a 90-plus point wine from the region. This is something very different.
Eucalyptus and black cherry on the nose, with a broad mineral accent evident. The wine is rich and glossy with licorice and mace notes. The fruit is blackberry and black pepper stitched through a frame of elegant tannins. The finish moves toward crushed oyster shells and ocean air.