2014 Ritual Pinot Noir Casablanca Valley (Previously $18)
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.
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.
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)
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)
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)
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.