Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Llai Llai Pinot Noir 2009

Now there is an interesting name.  However, llai llai in the local mapuche language means wind.  And this wine comes from a windy and rainy area of Chile known as the Bio Bio Valley.  The region is located approximately 300 miles south of Santiago and 30 miles from the Pacific Ocean and is rich in red clay soils and volcanic stone.  The Bio Bio (pronounced Bee o) region is slowly catching on for wine making compared to the easier growing climate in northern Chile.  Moscatel is the most prevalent grape in the Bio Bio, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, with Pinot Noir taking up a close 4th.  The Llai Llai is made by Louis Vallet, who is the 5th generation family member that has gone into the wine business.  His father, Bernard Vallet, is well known in the Burgundy circle.  Louis spends 6 months a year in Chile and the other 6 months back in France also making Pinot Noir wines.
Upon opening the 2009 vintage, I immediately thought of meat.  My wife went one step further and said grilled pork.  She was right on.  I had smelled this once before in a wine from Koyle wines, also from Chile, but it was a completely different grape.  Although it had a rather deep red color, it was a very light bodied wine.  It had been aged for 16 months with 40% aged in 2nd use French oak barrels and the remaining 60% aged in stainless steel.  Once you got past the meat aromas, there was some raspberries and cherries along with herbal notes.  On the palate, the initial flavors were black cherry, followed by some currants and some oakiness.  In addition, there was a minerality that came thru on the back end.  The alcohol content was 13.8% and the acidity was medium.  The tannins were also fairly mild.  Overall, an interesting wine that would be the perfect match for fish.  Yes, a red with fish.  We agreed that it might not be a wine that we would pick up again, but would certainly be enjoyed by others.  This can be purchased for $12.98 at "Buy Wine Online" located on the right sidebar of this blog.

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