Aristos' first winemaking adventure was this Chardonnay, two barrels of which have been made. The vines are in Cachapoal in the foot hills of the Andes but are a different parcel and micro climate to that from which they make their Cabernet, situated higher up at 1100 metres above sea level. The resultant wines is alive with intense opulent flavours of fruit skin fruit stone, wild honey, fruit blossom peach and mango with a zesty lemon peel and citrus freshness. The body is full and unctuous but asserts its focus and precision on a haunting finish.
Aristos meaning "noble" or "excellent" in Ancient Greek is a project born a few years ago out of three people's common passion for making the finest wines possible: Louis-Michel Liger-Belair of Domaine du Comte Liger Belair, Francois Massoc (award-winning winemaker of Calyptra in Chile) and Pedro Parra (one of only 8 terroir consultants in the world, the other 7 coming from France, who advises the top wineries in Chile.) Terroir is their focus. Their idea - to find the best terroir possible for each grape variety and produce "Grands Vins" from Chile, based on the idea that a "Grand Vin" has to be "drinkable" not only "tastable." That means wines that are fresh, not too warm or alcoholic and not over-oaked.
They have already found two terroirs for two grape varieties, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Both of them hail from the Cachapoal region in Rapel in the Andean foothills, Chardonnay planted at 1100 metres and Cabernet at 900 metres. Only 2 barrels were made of the 2007 Chardonnay, in 2008 250 cases each of the Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon have been made. The wines will be "titled" reflecting the nobility of this project and its resultant wines. Chardonnay will be La Duqueza and the Cabernets will be Barone and El Duque.
Cachapoal makes up one half of Chile's Rapel (itself lying in the Central Valley Region), the other being Colcagua. Wines here are overwhelmingly red and the soils are a combination of loam, clay and sand. The area has seen steady improvements in quality and the best vineyards nowadays are located at higher altitudes or planted further west towards Lake Rapel.