Crazy and Cre­ative, from Chile

It shouldn’t work, but it does: the se­crets of the pres­ti­gious Ca­ballo Loco range

Decanter - - DECANTER PROMOTION -

Ca­ballo Loco (“Crazy Horse”) is the prod­uct of an orig­i­nal com­bi­na­tion of el­e­ments: an in­tu­itive and cre­ative wine­mak­ing team, a bold com­mer­cial team and an ir­rev­er­ent ex­ec­u­tive man­age­ment. Spon­tane­ity, free­dom and courage are the mo­ti­va­tions be­hind the wine that has the mav­er­ick Jorge Coderch – a real “Crazy Horse” in per­son - be­hind it.

Ca­ballo Loco, the wine, is an idea that would never have got off the draw­ing board. The con­cept was un­usual to say the least: the cre­ation of a blend that would ex­press the best of Chile; a blend made from mul­ti­ple va­ri­eties and ori­gins; a blend with a re­lease num­ber in­stead of a vin­tage, where wines from dif­fer­ent years come to play in per­fect har­mony. Based on this un­ortho­dox phi­los­o­phy, Ca­ballo Loco NV, a non-vin­tage mas­ter­piece, was born! Its back­bone struc­ture as in the early edi­tions is Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon. Today, grapes com­plet­ing the blend have in­cluded such di­verse va­ri­eties as Carmenere from Apalta, Syrah from Li­mari and Carig­nan from old vines in the Maule Val­ley.

Ca­ballo Loco NV was one of the pi­o­neer­ing icon wines of Chile, with its first edi­tion re­leased in 1994. Such is its orig­i­nal and unique na­ture that it is a blend of vin­tages dat­ing back to 1990, a blend of de­nom­i­na­tions stretch­ing 1,000 km from North to South with dif­fer­ent grapes. Orig­i­nal in ev­ery way, the se­cret is the use of a type of “Sol­era Sys­tem” in its prepa­ra­tion; each new re­lease is as­sem­bled from wine that has been kept back from the previous edi­tion. Only 50% of the fi­nal as­sem­blage is bot­tled and the other 50% is re­turned to bar­rels to con­tinue its mat­u­ra­tion and wait to be blended within the next edi­tion. Thus, ev­ery edi­tion con­tains a small quan­tity of ev­ery previous edi­tion.

Today, and with­out be­ing to­tally strict, four main vine­yard lo­ca­tions are used to source the grapes: Ovalle in the Li­marí Val­ley, the most north­ern site with a strong mar­itime in­flu­ence and low an­nual rain­fall of­fer­ing per­fect con­di­tion for cool style Syrah; Alto Jahuel in the Maipo Cordillera Val­ley, lo­cated in the foothills of the An­des and renowned for its Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon grapes; Apalta in the Colch­agua Val­ley, with an ex­tended ripen­ing sea­son, per­fect for de­vel­op­ing the full aro­matic po­ten­tial of Carmenere and Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon; and Sagrada Fa­milia in the Curicó Val­ley, which de­vel­ops Mal­bec, Caber­net Franc and Mer­lot with ex­cep­tional colour and in­tense aro­mas and flavours. These vine­yard sites form the base for the Ca­ballo Loco “Grand Cru” wines.

“Spon­tane­ity, free­dom and courage are the mo­ti­va­tions be­hind the wine”

Ca­ballo Loco NV is com­ple­mented by four red “Grand Cru” Ca­ballo Loco wines. Each Ca­ballo Loco Grand Cru is cre­ated from com­po­nents of the Ca­ballo Loco NV and is sep­a­rately bot­tled to ap­peal to a more ex­per­i­men­tal con­sumer want­ing to find a vin­tage and va­ri­ety men­tion on the la­bel. These wines are crafted to rep­re­sent en­hanced vari­a­tions on the theme.

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