Alta Cima - '4.090' Syrah 2013/18

$25.00
Sale price

Regular price $25.00

"Loads of violets, blackcurrant fruit pastilles, white and black pepper with jamon and petrichor adding to the complexity. The purity and depth of fruit, firm velvety tannins and refreshing acidity shows the massive aging potential of this vintage. Textured, composed and seamless in style."

 

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Alta Cima Winery

Klaus Schroeder Sr., Alta Cima’s winemaker and founder, started the winery in 2000 on a plot of land he purchased in 1974. Klaus chose the plot because as head winemaker for San Pedro winery, he consistently purchased grapes from the area because of their quality. Specifically, he liked the elegance and structure of the grapes. Klaus Sr. wanted to one day have his one winery where he focused on finesse and softness in his wines, and the grapes from this small part of the Lontue Valley provided perfect fodder for this dream.   

Klaus Sr. has been making wine since the mid ‘60s. From a small town in northern Germany, he attended a local agriculture school. He did so well, that Geisenheim University, one of the most prestigious winemaking schools in the world - on par with UC Davis and Montpellier - admitted him in 1959, despite usually not accepting applicants with only agriculture degrees.

After graduating in 1963, Klaus Sr. then worked for 2 years in wineries in Germany. A bout of wanderlust led him to apply to wineries throughout the world. One of the wineries that offered him a job, San Pedro’s in Chile, sparked his interest. Klaus arrived at the winery on October 10th, 1965, his 26th birthday.

After San Pedro’s, he moved to Erasmus and created the first vintages of “Don Maximiano,” a national treasure in Chile. Then he moved to Santa Rita and created “Casa Real,” their flagship wine. The 1989 vintage of that wine is widely considered one of the greatest wines Chile has ever produced.

THE LAND

By 2000, Klaus felt it was time to return to the land he’d bought in 1974 and start his own winery. As mentioned above, he knew that the grapes from his land were excellent. Over the past 18 years, he’s been studying why. Here’s what he’s learned.

Basically, there are three specific ways that air moves over the vineyards. Two of these movements can be categorized as winds, the third as more of a gentle roll. The vineyards sit in a very specific part of the Lontue valley with unique topographic qualities. The wind movements all meet at this particular place.

Alta Cima’s vineyards lie at the tip of a small mountain corridor juts inland from the Pacific ocean. The Lontue river flows across the tip of the range from the south, then turns quickly towards the ocean, creating the Lontue valley. This means the valley is open at the end that meets the ocean, allowing ocean winds to glide through the valley in an eastwardly direction.

At the same time, a second prevailing wind blows from the south, funneled by the Andes, the “cordillera de la costa” - the smaller mountain range that runs along the coast - and the corridor described above. These two winds meet right where the vineyards are planted. In the morning, this creates a fog that protects the grapes and freshens them. This fog blows off around midday, and for a very small window of only a few hours, the grapes have enough heat to ripen.

In the afternoon, the third air movement comes into play, as a second fog descends from the Andes, again freshening and cooling the grapes. Crucially, it very rarely rains throughout the summer and fall, despite the constant fog.

The final piece of the climate puzzle is one that much of South America has going for it: drastic changes in temperature from day to night. During the day, temperatures exceed 90 degrees. At night, they drop as low as the mid 40s. This combination means the grapes have enough access to heat to fully ripen, but also maintain the acidity needed to create wines with elegance and finesse.


 

--------THE GRAPE--------

Syrah

Both Syrah or Shiraz is the name given to this grape varietal depending on where you are in the world. In France, particularly in the Rhone Valley, it goes by the name of Syrah and it makes the floral reds of Hermitage, Cornas, St Joseph and Cote Rôtie. Whereas in Australia, particularly in the Barossa Valley, it is Shiraz and it produces bolder, spicier and oaky red wines. It is planted across the world in the warmest of regions and it is usually dependant on how the winemaker produces as to what it's name will be either in the prettier female style or the bulkier masculine style.

 

 

--------THE REGION--------

Chile

Chile is best known for its savoury and spicy reds made from Carmenere, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon yet it is moving in an exciting direction of late with its crisp Semillons, Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs.

 

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir. 

"Loads of violets, blackcurrant fruit pastilles, white and black pepper with jamon and petrichor adding to the complexity. The purity and depth of fruit, firm velvety tannins and refreshing acidity shows the massive aging potential of this vintage. Textured, composed and seamless in style."

 

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Alta Cima Winery

Klaus Schroeder Sr., Alta Cima’s winemaker and founder, started the winery in 2000 on a plot of land he purchased in 1974. Klaus chose the plot because as head winemaker for San Pedro winery, he consistently purchased grapes from the area because of their quality. Specifically, he liked the elegance and structure of the grapes. Klaus Sr. wanted to one day have his one winery where he focused on finesse and softness in his wines, and the grapes from this small part of the Lontue Valley provided perfect fodder for this dream.   

Klaus Sr. has been making wine since the mid ‘60s. From a small town in northern Germany, he attended a local agriculture school. He did so well, that Geisenheim University, one of the most prestigious winemaking schools in the world - on par with UC Davis and Montpellier - admitted him in 1959, despite usually not accepting applicants with only agriculture degrees.

After graduating in 1963, Klaus Sr. then worked for 2 years in wineries in Germany. A bout of wanderlust led him to apply to wineries throughout the world. One of the wineries that offered him a job, San Pedro’s in Chile, sparked his interest. Klaus arrived at the winery on October 10th, 1965, his 26th birthday.

After San Pedro’s, he moved to Erasmus and created the first vintages of “Don Maximiano,” a national treasure in Chile. Then he moved to Santa Rita and created “Casa Real,” their flagship wine. The 1989 vintage of that wine is widely considered one of the greatest wines Chile has ever produced.

THE LAND

By 2000, Klaus felt it was time to return to the land he’d bought in 1974 and start his own winery. As mentioned above, he knew that the grapes from his land were excellent. Over the past 18 years, he’s been studying why. Here’s what he’s learned.

Basically, there are three specific ways that air moves over the vineyards. Two of these movements can be categorized as winds, the third as more of a gentle roll. The vineyards sit in a very specific part of the Lontue valley with unique topographic qualities. The wind movements all meet at this particular place.

Alta Cima’s vineyards lie at the tip of a small mountain corridor juts inland from the Pacific ocean. The Lontue river flows across the tip of the range from the south, then turns quickly towards the ocean, creating the Lontue valley. This means the valley is open at the end that meets the ocean, allowing ocean winds to glide through the valley in an eastwardly direction.

At the same time, a second prevailing wind blows from the south, funneled by the Andes, the “cordillera de la costa” - the smaller mountain range that runs along the coast - and the corridor described above. These two winds meet right where the vineyards are planted. In the morning, this creates a fog that protects the grapes and freshens them. This fog blows off around midday, and for a very small window of only a few hours, the grapes have enough heat to ripen.

In the afternoon, the third air movement comes into play, as a second fog descends from the Andes, again freshening and cooling the grapes. Crucially, it very rarely rains throughout the summer and fall, despite the constant fog.

The final piece of the climate puzzle is one that much of South America has going for it: drastic changes in temperature from day to night. During the day, temperatures exceed 90 degrees. At night, they drop as low as the mid 40s. This combination means the grapes have enough access to heat to fully ripen, but also maintain the acidity needed to create wines with elegance and finesse.


 

--------THE GRAPE--------

Syrah

Both Syrah or Shiraz is the name given to this grape varietal depending on where you are in the world. In France, particularly in the Rhone Valley, it goes by the name of Syrah and it makes the floral reds of Hermitage, Cornas, St Joseph and Cote Rôtie. Whereas in Australia, particularly in the Barossa Valley, it is Shiraz and it produces bolder, spicier and oaky red wines. It is planted across the world in the warmest of regions and it is usually dependant on how the winemaker produces as to what it's name will be either in the prettier female style or the bulkier masculine style.

 

 

--------THE REGION--------

Chile

Chile is best known for its savoury and spicy reds made from Carmenere, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon yet it is moving in an exciting direction of late with its crisp Semillons, Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs.

 

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir.