Chile has a long viticultural history for a New World wine region dating to the 16th century when the Spanish conquistadors brought Vitis vinifera vines with them as they colonized the region. In the mid-19th century, French wine varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenère and Cabernet Franc were introduced. In the early 1980s, a renaissance began with the introduction of stainless steel fermentation tanks and the use of oak barrels for aging. Wine exports grew very quickly as quality wine production increased. The number of wineries has grown from 12 in 1995 to over 70 in 2005. Reasons for this sudden expansion varies, but all are essential to understanding Chilean wine culture. The largest factor, and arguably most prominent, relates to the large amount of French families immigrating to Chile during the late 20th century. The French were able to share their fine tastes and experience with the native Chileans, expanding their knowledge of the wine world. Chile is now the fifth largest exporter of wines in the world, and the ninth largest producer. The climate has been described as midway between that of California and France. The most common grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenère.
- Item #: i_381588Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92WIEN ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The pure Cabernet Franc 2017 Pirque Vineyard sticks out like a sore thumb when tasted next to the other wines from Maule with its minty and creamy Maipo Cabernet personality. It comes from a vineyard planted in the 1980s in Pirque at around 700 meters in altitude. They treat this like their other single-vineyard wines, with fermentation in open-top vats with indigenous yeasts and punching down, trying to control the power. They picked this a little earlier and managed to bottle a wine with 13.5% alcohol and good freshness. 4,071 bottles were filled from 14 barrels in January 2019. This is their 90th wine, marked Lot #90."
This is small scale winemaking at its best! The Garage Wine Co began as a hobby in Pilar and Derek Mossman’s garage with the goal of making wines for friends and family. Everything was done by hand, primarily on the weekends while they continued to work their day jobs to provide for the family. Within a few years, the wines became better known as word of mouth created demand from strangers and eventually restaurants. The Chilean national newspaper ran an article on this coveted urban myth, referring to the budding enterprise as "that Garage Wine Company." With that story, demand increased and a brand was born.
The hallmark of these wines is their amazing purity, freshness and silky texture. The Mossman's achieve such high quality by emphasizing quality over quantity. They make tiny lots of 11-19 barrels of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Carignan field blend plowed by horse to this day. They truck their fruit in a trailer behind a trusty, worn red pick-up and make their wines by hand. Employing natural methods, only native yeasts are utilized for fermentation and the wines are aged in used oak barrels. The finished wines are then bottled in sterilized, recycled bottles.
Despite their humble ways, the wines have attracted the attention of critics who consistently award high scores and write glowing reviews. These limited distribution wines are fantastic and demonstrate what can be achieved with singular passion and commitment. They are compelling, well-balanced and utterly delicious.