Beautifully made, textbook, scented Riesling, with a lovely nose of pithy lime, green apple and herbs. It’s dry, soft, succulent and vital, with juicy citrus and stone fruits underpinned by brisk acidity and complemented by a savoury overtone. Energetic, broad and wonderfully balanced (13%).
POA Enotria, Great Western Wine
Riesling remains a relatively rare grape variety among premium producers in Chile, but the success of this wine suggests it could assume a more significant role in the country’s viticultural future.
According to Viña Leyda winemaker Viviana Navarrete, it owes much to the qualities of the valley which gives the producer its name, and in whose early development the company was instrumental.
By Chilean standards, Leyda Valley is extremely cool-climate, with mean annual temperatures of 13°C, frequent morning fogs and strong breezes coming in from the Pacific Ocean. The sea is close – just 4km from Leyda’s five hectares of Riesling vines – and, as anyone who has dipped their toe into it will tell you, it is very cold, thanks to the movements of the Humboldt Current.
That creates great conditions for expressively fruity Riesling, but also presents challenges for Navarrete and her colleagues. In particular, those fogs bring with them a strong risk of botrytis, one which the winery has reduced by orienting the vine rows east to west, allowing the sea breezes to move through them and dry the grapes. Leyda has two blocks of Riesling, planted with a northwest exposure on red soils of clay, with granite and alluvial stones. The clay gives palate volume, and the granite vibrancy to the finished wine. Navarrete left this wine bone dry in an effort to show its fresh and vibrant acidity, with a naturally low pH and an expressively fruity and mineral-tinged character.
There were no other Regional Trophies tasted in this category