Errazuriz Don Maximiano Founder’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Aconcagua Valley, Chile
A Bordeaux inspired blend made in homage to the founder of the winery. This is the flagship wine from the Don Maximiano Estate, made from a careful selection of the finest fruit. An outstanding wine with complexity, beautifully ripe fruit, fine grained tannin and great concentration.
Quite simply, a superb wine.
The Errazuriz Estate was founded in 1870 when Don Maximiano Errazuriz planted his first vineyards at Panquehue in the Aconcagua Valley - 100km North of the capital. Recognising that this valley, with its cool, rainy winters, hot, dry summers and moist Pacific Ocean breezes, was ideal for growing grapes, Don Maximiano sent for the finest clones from France and with tenacity and perseverance transformed this barren land into a world class vineyard.
The vines thrive on hillsides up to 600m above sea level, 60km from the Pacific Ocean on the southern bank of the Aconcagua River. Grapes from vineyards Max I, Max II and Max V are carefully selected for this wine.
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.
The grapes were hand-picked and the must was fermented in small stainless steel vats at temperatures ranging from 24°- 28°C. The wine was then aged for 22 months in French oak barrels (72% new).
Of a beautiful ruby red colour with violet highlights, this vintage has 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.
Vegetarian and vegan.
Errazuriz Founder’s Reserve
67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Carmenere, 12% Malbec, 6% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot
What the critics say:
James Suckling 96 points:
"Currants, flowers, sandalwood and crushed stone. Some cocoa. Medium to full body and linear, tight tannins. Bright and fresh. Energetic. Shows serious tension and focus. Excellent finish. Drink after 2022".
Decanter 96 points:
"The Errazuriz Estate was founded in 1870 by Don Maximiano Errazuriz and this is the 150th anniversary bottling of the wine named in his honour. A Bordeaux-inspired blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (67%), Malbec (12%), Carmenere (8%), Petit Verdot (7%) and Cabernet Franc (6%). Winemaker Francisco Baettig describes the 2017 as 'the freshest Don Maximiano that we've made in modern times'. Rich black cherry and blackberry aromas are edged in vanilla, spice and chocolate with a whisper of florality. Careful oak management (22 months in French oak, 72% new) is reflected in a balanced palate, with mature, rounded tannins; the cassis, cherry and raspberry fruit is overlaid with cocoa, leather and spice notes, buoyed with notable freshness".
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 93+ points:
"I like the austerity of the 2017 Don Maximiano Founder's Reserve—it's more reserved than the 2016, more discrete and less aromatic, with a lot of power on the palate. 2017 is a structured vintage, and the challenge was to find elegance, freshness and balance, as the weather was warm and dry. It's a blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Malbec, 8% Carmenere, 7% Petit Verdot and 6% Cabernet Franc—a classical Chilean Bordeaux blend—with notes of black fruit, cassis and blackberry, serious and with better-integrated oak. They are very careful with the use of oak, using barrels that mark the wine less, especially in warm vintages, and using fewer new barrels. The wine has structure and tannin but also has the juiciness to balance it all".
Wine Enthusiast 93 points:
"Patented Chilean aromas of herbs, blackberry and dark plum are spicy and feature a fair amount of oak and related wood smoke. On the palate, this Cabernet Sauvignon-driven blend is juicy and high in energy. Plum, currant and wild berry flavours maintain a sense of freshness on the finish. Overall, this is showy and complex. Best from 2022 to 2030".