When a wine makes it into the LCBO, we take notice. Emiliana Organic Vineyards is changing our perceptions of Chilean wines.
From the largest producer of organic wine in the world (750 000 cases per year of certified organic, biodynamic, socially responsible, carbon neutral wine) comes Adobe Reserva Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot–both available in General Listings; Novas Gran Reserva Cabernet Merlot and Petit Verdot, and the Signos de Origen Pinot Noir and Syrah all available in Vintages; and Coyam, the pinnacle of the line, and a seductive Chilean red blend, available on consignment.
All from one vineyard at the foothills of the Andes where cooler temperatures allow for gradual growing, these are expressive wines, full bodied and muscular, with character and personality.
While each of these wines are approachable and easily paired with food, I have two personal favourites: the Signos de Origen Syrah, and the exquisite Coyam. Co-fermented with 7% Viognier, the Syrah has an added dimension of balanced acidity. Intense aromas are followed by a robust palate. Plummy with cassis, violets and berries and a sprinkling of spice that give this wine a lush velvety depth.
Chile’s first super premium organic wine, Coyam, means “oak forest” in Mapudungun. It is a wild medley of fruit in which every varietal plays a distinct role: Merlot for elegance; Cabernet Sauvignon for aging tannins; Carmenere for spice, black fruit, and sweet and round tannins; Mourvedre adds floral notes; Syrah provides structure and tannins; and Petite Verdot enhances a deep violet colour. Aged in French (80%) and American (20%) oak barrels for 13 months, this is a wine that really shows the artistry, and alchemy, of the winemaker.
At a recent tasting at The Loft at The Distillery Historic District a menu with a delightful range of flavours enabled pairings and experimenting to truly appreciate these quality wines: Signos de Origen Syrah was paired with Moroccan-spiced lamb pinchitos, raisin marmalade. Coyam was paired with peppered duck breast, dried current risotto, smoked crispy shallots, vanilla rosemary syrup.