Recently Wine Ireland met up with an Undurraga. Many of you know the name as one of the most enduring and popular family labels from Chile. As it happens the family member that I met with had nothing to do with that success at all!
Cristobal Undurraga joined up with the family wine business after they had sold the main label. In 2006 his father and other members of the family set up an extraordinary new venture on rocky slopes in an area called Los Lingues in the Alto Colchagua, at the foot of the Andes mountains. Cristobal’s CV of what he had been up to before is a dizzying read
… consultant to develop a Biodynamic vineyard in Marchigue with Viña Montes .. member of the Chile Athletic team 410m hurdles … Winemaker in Bodega Kaiken, Mendoza, Argentina … Harvest in Rosemount Estate, Hunter Valley, Australia … at Franciscan Estate, Napa, California … at Chateau Margaux, Bordeaux, France … developed a cherry Estate in Puente Negro … and it goes on.. !
Today Cristobal is CEO and winemaker at Viña Koyle and in 2008 began his greatest challenge transforming the vineyard of Los Lingues into a certified biodynamic vineyard. It’s a really great story and the wines that the family are now producing are magnificent.
Classic Drinks imports the Koyle label to Ireland. This is a unique wine project on so many fronts that we are fortunate to have access to the wines at all. This is amplified by the fact that Koyle is now beginning to pick up very prestigious awards and prizes in competition.
This map shows where Los Lingues lies:
The family tells us that they chose this particular site because, ‘it has a Mediterranean microclimate in the Andean foothills. Our vineyards are influenced by the constant and fresh breezes that come down from the mountains and our well-drained soils have a clay texture with volcanic rocks and colluvial stones that deliver unique minerals giving the right balance to our vines. Both are key factors of optimal terroir for the production of high quality red wines. Because of the unique growing conditions, Los Lingues has become a official D.O. since March 2018
Koyle is a Reserva (and above) range of wines. They are not inexpensive and retail between 25 and 30 Euro a bottle. At that price they are, believe it or not, very good value. The price/quality ratio here is exceptional.
I completely love the Koyle Costa 2016 Cinsault for its structure and length (lay it away), the tremendous depth to the fruit ‘tastiness’ in the Koyle Costa 2015 Pinot Noir, the exceptional finish to the Koyle Royale 2015 Carmenére but my desert island wine from the range is the Koyle Gran Reserva 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon. It is superb and would make an extremely fine gift this Christmas, New Year and every birthday from now on …. !
Check these awards out: