What makes a wine “wild fermented”? Without going into too much detail, it means the winemaker chose let the wine ferment of its own accord, catalyzed by yeasts existing on the grape skins and in the winery. For those who don’t know the intricacies of winemaking, most wines — generally speaking — are fermented after the winemaker introduces an externally obtained yeast to the grape juice. Does it make a significant difference, which way the wine ferments? The jury is out, but there are arguments for both sides. Further, there has been some interest recently in “wild fermented” wines, as they are seen by some to be produced more “purely” or “naturally”. Whatever. Personally, I don’t care, as long as the final product tastes great. Though, I do kind of like the sound of “wild fermented” — makes the wine seem more exciting, somehow.
Tasting Notes: Valdivieso Single Vineyard Wild Fermented Sauvignon Blanc 2009
The nose is bright and expressive, with perfumey floral notes mixing with pear, grapefruit, and a hint of something that can only be described as nail polish remover. That may sound bad but in fact it didn’t take anything away from the aroma — if anything, it added a bit of complexity.
In the mouth you get white citrus fruit with some mineral notes and ample, bright acidity. The finish is pleasant, offering mild fruit, more mineral, and chalky acid coating the inside of the cheeks. It is enjoyable on its own but also good with food. Try it with sushi, mildly seasoned white fish, pasta salads, raw vegetables, and simple cheeses. At $21.99, it’s kind of pricey for a Sauvignon Blanc but I would say the price is fairly commensurate with the quality — it is on par with an entry-level Sancerre or similarly priced Sauvignon from New Zealand.
Now, the caveat … I can’t say for sure if this wine is available. I received the bottle from Wines of Chile as part of a Sauvignon Blanc blogger tasting from a few months back. However I can’t find it listed on any of the big retail-finding directories, and there is no info at all about the wine, neither on the Valdivieso website in Chile (warning, it’s made in Flash, grrrrr….), nor from the US importer Laird and Company. So maybe it’s a brand-new product, or maybe it’s always been made but never before imported. Perhaps the blogger tasting was an opportunity to test-market the wine, who knows. In any case, if you do see it, and don’t mind paying over $20 for a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, it’s worth trying.
a-7 t-8 b-8 fc-8 v-7 ~ 88 Points