COUNTRY/REGION: Chile/Aconcagua Valley.
GRAPE VARIETIES: 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Malbec, 8% Carmenere, 7% Petit Verdot and 6% Cabernet Franc.
The 2017 vintage of Don Maximiano Founder's Reserve captivates with aromas reminiscent of red fruits such as cherries and raspberries. Further back some nice notes of cocoa and clove appear, culminating with a slight floral hint which suggests violets. Aligned with what is perceived on the nose the palate offers cherries, raspberries and cassis flavours, plus the sweet notes of cocoa and clove. The wine has great tension and juiciness.
VINEYARDS: The Don Maximiano vineyard is located in the Aconcagua Valley and the oldest among them are Max I, Max II and Max V blocks. The region has a long dry season with moderately warm summer days cooled by the soft evening breezes that enter the valley from the Pacific Ocean. Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere vines were planted in 1978 and 1993, respectively, while the Petit Verdot was planted in 1999. The three vineyard blocks that contribute grapes for Don Maximiano Founder’s Reserve are planted on north or northeast facing hillsides with 5°–25° of slope. Soils are volcanic, colluvial and piedmont (Max I and II) or alluvial (Max V) in origin, with good drainage conferring low to moderate vigour. The colluvial and volcanic rocky soils of Max I show high presence of mica with clay-silt texture. Max II has deep colluvial soils of volcanic origin, with loam to sandy-loam texture, and both have 30–40% stone content. Max V has deep gravelly alluvial soils with 50% stone content and excellent drainage.
VINTAGE: The 2017 vintage was characterized by a mild and dry winter, followed by a very sunny and warm summer, finalized by an early harvest. As a result the vintage blessed us with wines with sophistication that beautifully balance fruit concentration, structure and depth mainly given the season’s particularly low yields. The wines of 2017 have an immense sense of purity, minerality, intensity and structure.
WINEMAKING: Grapes were handpicked in the cool morning hours and transported in small 15-kg boxes to the winery, where they were inspected on a double selection board to assure only the nest quality grapes go to the nal blend. Fermentation took place in small-volume stainless steel tanks to allow a larger proportion of contact between the skins and the juice. Up to three daily pump overs were made according to the desired level of extraction. Depending on the individual development of each lot, they completed a total maceration time of 8 to 30 days. All lots were aged for 22 months in French oak barrels (65% new), where malolactic fermentation, clari cation and stabilization occurred in a natural way. To best express the terroir of the Aconcagua Valley, and to increase the wine’s complexity, percentages of Malbec, Petit Verdot, Carmenere and Cabernet Franc were added to the final blend to make it a truly complex wine.