Winery Of The Month: Viña Tabalí, Chile
His advisors told him that he would never be able to produce high-quality wine in the Limarí Valley, but Guillermo Luksic, being the entrepreneur and visionary that he was, followed his heart and decided to start the Tabalí project in the early 1990s. Since then, Viña Tabalí has become a pioneer and one of the most iconic wineries in not just Limarí, but also Chile. Oh, and they’re our Winery of the Month for September too!
Company president Nicolás Luksic is continuing in the footsteps of his father, Guillermo Luksic, in ensuring that the places chosen for each variety have a singularity that is reflected in each wine. Nicolás explains, “what we are seeking is to produce high-quality wines that reveal their origin and transport the person tasting them to the soil and climate of Tabalí’s vineyards. That’s what my father always wanted to transmit.”
While the first Tabalí brand wines were launched in 2002, Guillermo started planting the first vineyards, located next to the Enchanted Valley national monument, in 1993. The high quality rapidly earned them recognition both in Chile and in international markets. In 2009, after years of geological studies and experimentation in its ongoing quest for innovation and excellence, the winery acquired the Talinay vineyard. This second vineyard is located next to the Fray Jorge National Park and forms part of the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Just 12km from the coast, this is the Limarí valley vineyard that’s closest to the ocean, and it took Chile by surprise when the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines from its first harvest were named the best in Chile.
With the objective of seeking new terroirs in the valley, the company bought the former El Bosque vineyard in the mountainous sector of Río Hurtado in 2010. Here it planted a vineyard at an altitude of 1,600 metres, which made Tabalí the only winery to own vineyards from the ocean to the mountains in the same valley.
Finally, in 2013, under the leadership of Nicolás Luksic, Tabalí acquired one of the best and most exclusive Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards in the Maipo valley with the singular characteristic of being located in the Coastal mountain range on south-facing slopes of colluvial soils. This vineyard offers new opportunities for the winery, which has finally decided to expand its portfolio and explore other wine regions.
Winemaking Philosophy & Terroir
Tabalí’s winemaking concept is based on highlighting the characteristics of each terroir, and the quality, elegance, complexity and precision of the different terroirs are what makes the wines singular. When it comes to technological standards, the winery is as modern as it gets, but it also works on a scale where they can vinify very small lots of grapes to achieve finely-tuned work.
Tabalí chooses high slopes with limestone soils facing away from the sun, which are unique and exceptional terroirs for singular wines, with fresh clean air that come in from the Pacific Ocean and enters damp saline coasts with sun and little rain. The particular nature of the terroir in each of our vineyards means that Viña Tabalí’s production is appreciated by people who value wines with character.
This Sauvignon Blanc has a pale yellow robe with green hints. A clean and brilliant wine, the nose is intense, complex and elegant with citrus notes, passion fruit and green aromas. On the palate, the wine is full and crisp, and high acidity gives freshness and life to the wine. Expect a Very long, fresh and fruity finish.
Tabali Pedregoso Gran Reserva Merlot 2017 (U.P. $40)
Their 2017 Merlot boasts a nice red colour with a great concentration on the nose: ripe, full of red fruits such as raspberry and strawberry, and with a hint of vanilla. On the palate, it is full-bodied with nice tannins and great structure. The wine is well balanced with nice acidity and lots of fruit, and has a long pleasant finish.
Like Cab Sauv? You’ll enjoy the deep red colour of this 2017 bottling, with a bouquet of ripe red fruits such as plum, strawberry, and a touch of vanilla. On the palate, it is full-bodied with nice tannins and a great structure. Well balanced and nice acidity and lots of fruit.