Odfjell, Armador Merlot, Maipo, Chile, 2020
Founded by Norwegian Dan Odfjell this pre-dominantly red wine producer creates wines of elegance and poise.
Odfjell are fully committed to biodynamics with cover crops and beehives populating the vineyards while small Fjord horses work the land. Odfjell produces wonderful wines that few in Chile can match, with their Carignans, which come from rescued 80 year old vines, proving to be of particular note.
The grapes come from a historic vineyard in Padre Hurtado in the lower Maipo Valley at an altitude of 405 meters above sea level. The clay soils have a neutral pH and are of alluvial origin from the Maipo River basin. The soil is deep with good drainage, which helps control plant vigour for excellent fruit load with small clusters and berries. The climate is Mediterranean with an average annual rainfall of 250–300 mm, and the daily temperature differential is 20°-25° C. All of these factors plus the coastal influence work together to enable fruit ripening. The vineyard is certified organic and biodynamic and managed accordingly.
The grapes were hand picked and were not crushed on reception at the winery; the clusters were only de-stemmed. The whole berries had four to five days of cold maceration at 14ºC prior to fermentation and eight to ten days of maceration at 25ºC after fermentation. Native and selected yeasts were used during the fermentation, which took place in small tanks of 40,000 Lts. Spontaneous malolactic fermentation took place in tanks.
No oak treatment
Intense garnet red in colour with a violet hue. The nose is ripe but fresh, with fruity notes recalling black cherries and plums along with a bit of menthol, while notes of spices such as nutmeg appear on the backdrop. The palate is juicy, and the tannins are robust and velvety, leading with notes of blackberries and chocolate on the lingering finish.
Fennel sausage and mash, macaroni cheese, meatloaf.
12 x 75cl