Álvaro Espinoza: Biodynamic Guru
Álvaro Espinoza has gained the reputation of a well-respected winemaker and found tremendous success in biodynamic viticulture. He uses labor intensive farming methods to produce his award winning wines at Antiyal, his winery in the Maipo Valley of Chile. The small production 2010 Antiyal red blend is often referred to as Chile’s first “garage wine,” it is a careful blend of estate fruit: 47% Carmenère, 24% Syrah and 29% Cabernet Sauvignon. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate recently awarded the 2010 Antiyal 93 points. Espinoza’s 2010 Kuyen red blend is his “baby Antiyal.” It is a rich blend of 57% Syrah, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Carmenère and 2% Petit Verdot. It received 92 points and it was named an “Editor’s Choice” by the Wine Enthusiast magazine.
Antiyal is Espinoza’s laboratory, where his animals help keep the vineyards clean of weeds and pests and they return nutrients to the ground. The healthy vineyards produce fruit that is robust and the harvest is all done by hand, all the while following the biodynamic calendar giving the wine produced at Antiyal an absolute, full-circle sense of terroir. Espinoza on biodynamic farming, “When you organize a farm as a closed entity, and take care of the nutrients and fertility with minimal inputs, what comes out of it is related to the identity of the place.”
Alvaro is also the consulting winemaker at Apaltagua Winery in the Colchagua Valley. They are interested in his philosophy of natural farming methods and high quality, clean fruit. His expertise and commitment have helped establish Apalatagua as one of the top wineries in Chile:
2011 Reserva Chardonnay
2012 Reserva Pinot Noir
2011 Reserva Carmenère
2011 Reserva Malbec
2011 Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon
2010 Envero Carmenère
2010 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
2008 Grial Carmenère
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- Antiyal 2010 received 93 points! from the Wine Advocate: “Very expressive: well defined bouquet with blackberry leaf, crushed stone and limestone. The palate is medium bodied with super-fine tannins. It is very well balanced with grace and poise towards the natural, refined blackberry and sea salt tinged finish... another beautiful wine from Alvaro.” Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
- 2010 Kuyen is an "Editor's Choice" and receives a 92 points rating from Wine Enthusiast!
- Apaltagua's Grial Carmenere 2008 receives a stellar 92 points! “There's high energy emitting from this jacked-up varietal. Fig, cocoa, moss, cola and blackened fruit aromas introduce a ripped palate of high-volume cherry, plum, berry, chocolate...” Wine Enthusiast , February 2013
- 90 points! to Apaltagua's Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 and “Impressive!" from the International Wine Review, “Signature Cabernet Sauvignon is still a youthful wine; blackberry, toasted oak and herbs show on the nose. It's a full-bodied wine, rich in toasted oak and cassis...”
- 93 points to Domus Aurea Cabernet Sauvignon 2008: "Cherry jam scents, refreshing acidity– has the gentle gracious feel that distinguishes the top Maipo cabernets: Seductively spicy and relatively light in texture."
Wine & Spirits Magazine
- 2008 Maquis Lien receives 93 points from Michael Franz of Wine Review Online, “complex aromas and flavors, dark toned fruit shows excellent concentration, plenty of fine-grained tannins... best ever released.”
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