Crazy and Creative, from Chile
It shouldn’t work, but it does: the secrets of the prestigious Caballo Loco range
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.