Hacienda San Juan Pinot Noir 2015

Hacienda San Juan Pinot Noir 2015, San Antonio, Chile, 13.5% 

($34, Vinos del Rey (Miami) and Crescent Inc (NY))

Freshness. Elegance. Complexity. That’s what the best wines from San Antonio can give you.

This coastal region is a relative newcomer in Chilean wine terms but right from the start, it’s hit the ground running. That’s not to say the wines have all been superb, but there has been a notable ambition right from the start among the region’s pioneers to craft wines of character and complexity. 

So it was interesting to be able to try a selection of wines sent by the San Antonio Vintners’ Association, which included a couple of relatively new faces alongside the more established players.

This Pinot, for example, is an interesting case in point. It’s very different from the Chilean norm – a wine that’s not afraid of rough edges and funky character, with notes of leather, clove, wild mint and dried meat. (It calls itself ‘vino natural’ on the label, so maybe that’s no surprise.)

It’s medium bodied, with plenty of refreshing red fruit character, and majors on elegance of proportion rather than heft and black-fruit or oak weight. Gently bittersweet, it pairs well with a range of food. It’s upbeat and engaging, a coastal Chilean Pinot with a bit of swagger and individuality. (Peter, 7/10, Jan 2021)

Although it’s not yet available in the UK, it is in the US (see price/stockists as above). The price is a bit higher than we’d like to see for what is fundamentally an enjoyable rather than seriously complex wine. And younger vintages should be interesting too – this one was definitely on the mature side. 

In the samples were other wines that were impressive too.

Casa Marin Cipreses Sauvignon Blanc 2020 – arresting, tangy, statuesque (7.5/10)

Vina Leyda Lot 4 Sauvignon Blanc 2014 – very green (nettley, green pepper, gooseberry) style, tangy, saline, young still! (6.5-7/10)

Amayna Cordon Huinca Sauvignon Blanc 2019 – reticent and subtle, nothing out of place, stylish and refined (7/10)

Casas de Bucalemu Fosiles Pinot Noir 2018 – herbal, savoury, elegant, impressive (7/10)

Matetic EQ Syrah 2011 – meaty, black pepper and rich dark fruit aromas, savoury and spicy on the finish (7-7.5/10)