Many of us have a hobby. I have friends who love deep sea fishing, searching for plants in the woods or doing puzzles. A hobby brings out childlike curiosity and pure enjoyment in a person. It releases us from the mundane chores of life and noise of the day.
This wine’s unique label is like a map to understanding my wine hobby. The brand name, Terroir Hunter could be a movie title. The place is Alto Maipo, a higher elevation (Alto) wine growing region in Chile. I see a local viticulturist in old boots, with a walking stick in his hand, exploring acres of dirt and rocks in the Andes. He looks up at the side of a mountain and sees the outline of natural terraces caused by water draining through rocks and layers of sediment. Just like the label, his footprints stop and he marks the spot in his mind, “this is the place I’ll plant Cabernet Sauvignon.” He can imagine a mature vineyard and smell the ripening grapes. Years later, this bottle of wine is shipped across a continent to California, and his dream is shared with me.
Winemaker’s Notes: Undurrage TH Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 is from Pirque, an area in Maipo Alto with an exalted reputation for excellent Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is made from a small lot that yields very little fruit. Grapes are carefully sorted to find only the best berries. The wine underwent cold maceration under anaerobic conditions for five days. Fermentation took place at 28° – 29°C for 14 days, with three to four daily pump-overs. The wine was left on its lees and skins for an additional 12 days to further its structure. It was then racked into French barrels, 25% new where the wine was aged for 14 months.
The 2011 vintage in Maipo, especially in Pirque is considered a cool vintage. The same was true in 2010, which was one of the best vintages in recent times. The sugar, tannin and acidity levels were in balance by the third week of April, only one week earlier than in 2010.