2014 Ritual Pinot Noir Casablanca Valley

SKU #1213928 93 points James Suckling

 Crushed ripe strawberries with blackberries. Some mineral undertones too. Full body, firm tannins, and a fresh and racy finish. Shows some granite and slate as well. Balanced, fruity style.  (7/2015)

Jancis Robinson

 Veramonte’s Monster Vineyard apparently. Bright blueish crimson. Lightly but not unattractively sweaty on the nose. Lifted, seductive, crystalline fruit. Very attractive, well-balanced Pinot for fairly early drinking. Not one of the most ambitious or complicated but very user-friendly.  (2/2015)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2014 Ritual Pinot Noir is sourced from the east of Casablanca Valley, where the soils are mostly granitic and the vines were panted some 15 years ago. The vines here are in a zone very rich in quartz, and the fruit comes from their own vineyards and part purchased fruit. Winemaker Rodrigo Soto used 25% full clusters for the fermentation with indigenous yeasts and 15% new oak for the upbringing of the wine. This aims at showing what Casablanca can do as a valley in Pinot Noir as a whole, rather than showing a specific place. The combination of granite soils and climate require agriculture, because the zone can be warm, so you need to work in the vineyards to be able to keep the freshness. There are more fruit than herbal aromas here, and this shows nice ripeness, combining aromas of sour cherries with lactic hints and bare traces of spicy oak. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, good freshness and the final granite bite in the finish with the oak much better integrated; they have also been lowering both the length of the upbringing and the amount of new oak in the wine since around 2007. This also gives wines that are more vibrant and allow for a better bottle aging. (LG)  (12/2015)

Wine Enthusiast

 This fruity, friendly Pinot opens with ripe berry aromas mixed with touches of minerality and latex. It feels fresh and sturdy, with black cherry and raspberry flavors. A pure, sweet, lightly chocolaty finish wraps things up. (MS)  (8/2015)

Wine Spectator

 A juicy and savory red, with touches of richness to the cherry and crushed red plum flavors. Notes of bergamot linger on the leafy, spice-filled finish. (KM)  (8/2015)

K&L Notes

Ritual is Veramonte's top label, a collaborative effort of the Huneeus family with Paul Hobbs to produce a premium, yet affordable, Pinot Noir from the Casablanca Valley.

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By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/11/2015 | Send Email
Another very well made, crowd pleasing effort from Veramonte here with their 2014 Ritual Pinot Noir. Fruit forward on the nose, the palate shows straight ahead Bing cherry and red plum flavors, with very soft tannins and no discernible edges. For fans of some of the fruitier, fuller bodied stuff a la Belle Glos and other Santa Lucia Highlands wines, this bottle should be in your cart, and this wine in your glass!

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.
Country:

Chile

- Located on the western coast of South America and bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Andes to the East, the Chilean wine-growing climate is similar to that of California's Napa Valley and Bordeaux. The Chilean wine industry is known for being consistently free of phylloxera, but political and economic unrest has brought its own source of disorder. The recent establishment of a free market has resuscitated the wine industry, and significant investments have been made, switching the economic focus from domestic production to exports. Chile produces roughly a quarter of the wine Argentina produces, and is known for single-varietal exports, predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. It's a popular region in the U.S. known for inexpensive and tasty wine. Click for a list of bestselling items from Chile.
Alcohol Content (%): 14