There is no such thing as a clearly defined area that corresponds to objective criteria, although we believe there should be one. Maipo has characteristics of its own, which identify it and are exclusive to this area, and this opens great opportunities to create a denomination of origin or collective brand that could have stricter criteria of production and thus value it even more.
The quality and type of wines, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon produced either in the pre-Andean piedmont, on the alluvial soils of the Maipo River in the so-called third geological terrace, or the deep soils of Macul, have clear differences. But all these wines relate to each other through their textures, elegance and finesse of tannins (which they have and in abundance) and a fine weave that gives them great quality and aging potential. Regarding their fruit expression, these are austere wines, perhaps due to the interaction of clays and gravels; to the fresh breezes that blow along the riverbed and refresh the warm temperatures; to the carbonated and sulfated waters that come from the volcanoes that surround the valley and irrigate this particular area, or all the above mentioned and still others –such as the age of the vines– are factors that influence and define the Cabernet grapes of Alto Maipo.
Since its founding in 1996, Viña Morandé has believed and worked in the vineyards of this renowned area, putting all its efforts in producing our best wines with Bordeaux varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and particularly Cabernet Franc, thanks to the long experience developed by Pablo Morandé in this terroir.
One of our most cherished wines is our Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva, an entry gate to western Alto Maipo. It is a classic example to understand and appreciate this terroir in an affordable way. The vineyard is more than 20 years old, planted in high density and shares its soils with the neighboring terroir of Puente Alto. It is influenced by an amphitheater created by the hills of Chena which contribute with additional 2º C, resulting in wines that beautifully combine red fruits, such as raspberries, with black fruits, like plums, cherries and, especially, black currants, also known as cassis.
The wine is aged for 18 months in big French oak foudre that add complexity and layers of aromas and flavors with notes that remind of cedar, tobacco and graphite, but allow the origin of the fruit to shine through.
This is a balanced wine, with great aging potential and, most importantly, with its own identity, which speaks of this corner called Alto Maipo.
Enólogo Viña Morandé