Double your pleasure with two 2007 pinot noirs from Chile’s Veranda winery.
Veranda winery is a joint venture of VC Family Estates, owned by the Chilean Ibanez family, and Boisset, a respected wine family from Burgundy, France.
Veranda makes the range of Chilean wines: cabernet sauvignon, carmenere, syrah, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, and pinot noir. Yet its preference for pinot noir is revealed with its hiring of Pascal Marchand as its chief winemaker.
In 1983, the 20-year old French-Canadian Marchand went to Burgundy to work in the harvest. He returned to Burgundy, a region devoted to pinot noir, the following year and enrolled in an enology school. A job followed at a local winery, Clos des Epeneaux in Pommard. Marchand upgraded the viticulture and winemaking, eventually gaining international recognition for its pinot noir wines and for himself.
In 1999, the entrepreneurial Boisset family hired Marchand to take the helm of their newest winery, Domaine de la Vougeraie. Within a few vintages — the Burgundy equivalent of a New York minute — Marchand established Vougeraie’s name among pinot noir aficionados. Recognizing Marchand’s talent, Boisset extended his expertise to DeLoach, its Sonoma, California winery, and Veranda.
In February, Marchand was in New York presenting the Veranda wines, including two 2007 pinot noirs. The first, which is labeled with the winery name, Veranda, is a blend of grapes from Chile’s Casablanca and Bio Bio valleys. The second, named Oda, is made from grapes from the Miraflores vineyard in Bio Bio valley.
The 2007 Veranda pinot noir illustrates the value of aeration. When poured, it has a candied strawberry-cherry aroma and flavor, and evidenced its alcohol. It was a bit too New World style for my palate. But as I returned to the glass during the next half hour, the wine opened and enlarged, its fruit aroma and flavor became more natural and less affected by the 30-percent new French oak barrels in which it aged. The alcohol was less noticeable, too.
The 2007 Oda pinot noir was a level up. From the first moment, it showed more balance than the 2007 Veranda. Although aged in 50-percent new oak, the Oda has a graceful mix of black cherry fruit, acidity and mineral elements. The Oda shows that it isn’t always the amount of new oak that is used but the structure of the wine that is subjected to it. The complexity eliminated any noticeable alcohol as well.
At the conclusion of the 2007 harvest, Veranda terminated its leased vineyards in the Casablanca valley. Today, its pinot noir, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc grapes come from its organic vineyards in Bio Bio valley. This is Chile’s cool climate southern region and is the mirror image of Burgundy, France’s cool climate northern region for pinot noir and chardonnay.
Both wines were successfully paired with braised short ribs, farro, and roasted root vegetables. Spring and summer fare like marinated grilled chicken legs, pork chops, or sausages with yellow and red peppers will be delightful with either wine.
The 2007 Veranda pinot noir retails for approximately $19; the 2007 Veranda Oda for $29.