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Bodegas RE is pushing the boundaries in Chile. This is a new, constantly evolving project with ‘experiments’ being worked on every year and wines being kept back until they are ready. RE refers to the winery’s concept of REcreating, REinventing, REdiscovering… It was set up in 2012 by Casablancan pioneer Pablo Morande and his son (also Pablo). The Morande family are very well known throughout Chile: the young Pablo is a 9th generation winemaker and, despite Pablo Senior having made a name for himself in the early 1980s in Casablanca (with Morande and Concha y Toro), their family roots have been established firmly in the Maule valley since the early 1800’s. Maule is a hot area with a brightness that is apparent, however due to the short ripening period the wines manage to retain a high acidity. During the summer with temperatures reaching 36 degrees, special attention is required when picking. Its red clay soils are largely rain fed with no irrigation, and unlike Casablanca, they are not affected by frost. The vineyards are planted on rolling hills at around 200m altitude, producing low yields of around 6-8 tonnes. Bodegas RE’s winery and significant vineyard holdings are located in Casablanca, but they also have 72 ha of vines 450km away in Loncomilla in the Maule Valley. The winery is impressive with old terracotta amphorae of different sizes and ages, 12, 000 litre cement tanks coated on the outside with clay to make them look like large amphorae, as well as Italian ‘botti’ and American barriques… all highlighting the experimental nature of what is happening here. These wines highlight the huge potential of the Maule Valley and the bodega manages to achieve an exciting balance of traditional and new practices. A wide variety of grape varieties are planted and dry farming is adopted, giving their old Carignan vines (70 years +) a refinement but a concentration on the mid-palate that some Carignans lack.
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Owner/winemaker Pablo Morande wanted to ‘add value’ by stepping outside of the traditional mould of producing a white wine within Casablanca and Chile. The vines are around 20 years old and the grapes are pressed and fermented separately in large French barrels, and remain on the lees for nearly two years. Catriona Felstead MW - New World Buyer
Carignan is picked from RE’s best parcel for this wine – a single block containing their oldest (70+ years old) Carignan vines which benefits from a higher altitude than the other vines. It produces a wine with beautiful balance between ripeness and finesse.
Production was inspired by ancestral winemaking techniques. The wine was fermented in old small clay amphorae, saved from the 1939 Chilean earthquake, and left on the skins for six months before being transferred to old American oak barrels (fifth use and of varying sizes) for four months. Catriona Felstead MW - New World Buyer