RHU is the top of the pyramid of Viñedos de Alcohuaz’s wines and it was named after the portal through which information passes from divinity to humanity. It is the genesis of the project. The first RHU harvest was in 2011. It is a red blend, mainly of Syrah, from the best plants of the vineyards up in the Andes Mountain Range.
RHU 2012 is a blend of Syrah (73%) Grenache (18%) and Petit Sirah (9%). It was a warm year in Elqui Valley, resulting in a mature wine, but with the verticality and final balance that the place provides.
RHU 2013 is a blend of Syrah (64%) Grenache (20%) and Petite Sirah (16%). The wine shows tipicity and it is compact, soft and deep, with the acidity a place like Elqui Valley provides. The harvest was short, ending on March 13th.
RHU 2014 is a blend of Syrah (82%) Garnacha (15%) and Petite Sirah (3%). Among the first four vintages, this is the one with the highest percentage of Syrah. Spontaneous fermentation and maceration in rock wine presses. It was aged during 35 months in 2,500 liter wood fudres. The wine has a great tension in the palate. Tasted in April 2019, it will definitely have a good evolution during the next 5 years.
RHU 2015 is a blend of Syrah (80%) Grenache (5%) and Petite Sirah (15%). The wine is stored in 2,500 liter wooden foudres for 35 months. Fermentation is spontaneous with indigenous yeast in rock wine presses, built on the property. For the Grenache, fermentation was made in concrete tanks due to oxidation sensibility. The wine has great tension and texture, as well as acidity. RHU 2015 will have good evolution for the next 10 years.
The 2016 Rhu is mostly Syrah with 4% Petite Sirah and 3% Garnacha, fermented in stone pools (lagar) with indigenous yeasts and matured in 2,500-liter oak foudres for 35 months. 2016 is an unusual vintage as they had snow that killed all the primary grapes. So what they harvested was a second crop that was harvested one month later than usual (the Garnacha was picked into April), and they only harvested 18% of the usual crop, something that hadn’t happened in 30 years.
2017 was an unusual vintage almost everywhere, and the 2017 Rhu is an unusual blend, as it doesn’t have any Petite Sirah or Garnacha and has 15% Cariñena to complement the Syrah. Perhaps that has helped to contain the alcohol to 13.4% and keep a low pH and high acidity. It was very dry and warmer, and they harvested the grapes earlier, the Syrah on January 25 and the Cariñena on March 15. It fermented in stone pools with indigenous yeasts and 60% full clusters with a total maceration time of 12 days. It matured in 2,500-liter oak foudre for 30 months.
Rhu 2018 is a blend of Syrah (80%) and has 12% Petite Sirah and 8% Garnacha. It was a year with more rain, and it snowed twice but also had warm weather. It fermented with 90% full clusters in stone lagars with indigenous yeasts, and the élevage was in 2,500-liter oak foudre and lasted 32 months. This is finest, most elegant and balanced version of Rhu to date with more Rhône Syrah character and the seriousness of the granite.
Our second wine got its name after a constellation that lies in the southern sky, the constellation of Grus or the crane: the vessel of materialization between the divine and the human. GRUS is a red blend that gets typicity from the combination of different parcels planted at different heights in Alcohuaz. In some harvests, Malbec has been added to the blend while in others, for example, it was replaced by Petit Verdot. The first vintage of GRUS was in 2014.
GRUS 2015 is a blend of Syrah (50%) Grenache (26%) Petite Sirah (14%) and Petit Verdot (10%). In the summer of 2015 there was no rain and it is considered a cold year. The nose is marked by black fruit like blackberry and it is long on the palate with a remarkable juicy acidity.
GRUS 2016 is a blend of Syrah (56%) Grenache (21%) Petite Sirah (14%) and Petit Verdot (9%). This year was marked by a cold winter and a dry summer, resulting in a spicier wine, with some smoky notes and very good acidity in the mouth. In October 2015, there was a frost that reached -2.8ºC and affected the vineyard. The production was very low but of great quality.
GRUS 2017 is a blend of Syrah (60%) Grenache (13%) Petit Verdot (15%) and Petite Sirah (12%). There was no snow during winter time, but the summer was dry with temperatures higher than average in the valley. Red fruit is very marked in this vintage, along with a juicy sensation and good acidity. GRUS is a very good summary of most parcels Viñedos de Alcohuaz has in the Andes Mountain Range.
GRUS 2018 is a blend of Syrah (51%) Grenache (10%) Petit Verdot (16%) Petite Sirah (15%) Malbec (5%) and Carignan (3%). It is the first wine of our winery with Carignan grape. The fruit shows fresh, herbaceous and spicy aromas, with great palate and balance. GRUS is a very good summary of the vineyards Alcohuaz have up in the Andes Mountains.
2019 Grus was produced with a blend of 75% Syrah, 13% Petite Sirah, 7% Garnacha, 2% Malbec, 2% Cariñena and 1% Petit Verdot, where Syrah replaced most of the Petit Verdot. It fermented with indigenous yeasts and 20% to 60% full clusters in stone lagares and matured in a combination of concrete eggs and oak foudres for nine months. It kept a moderate 13.6% alcohol and very good freshness and acidity.
Despite the fact that 2020 started with a much drier and warmer summer than an average year in Alcohuaz, the wine is marked by its acidity and that backbone of sharp tannins. The blend is composed of 42% Syrah, 25% Grenache, 20% Petit Verdot, 5% Petite Sirah and 8% Touriga Nacional, this being the first time that the variety of Portuguese origin has been incorporated into Alcohuaz Vineyards reds. GRUS expresses in the best way the mountain red, a representation of the parcels in the high altitudes of the Elqui Valley.
The blend of GRUS 2021 corresponds to a Syrah (59%), Petite Sirah (6%) Petit Verdot (8%), Touriga Nacional (13%), Carignan (12%) and Malbec (2%). This vintage has a good balance between fruit and mineral notes. You can feel the textures on the palate. The palate is fresh and the acidity from the vineyard planted at high altitude is present. GRUS expresses the mountain red in the best way, a representation of Alcohuaz’s parcels in the Elqui Valley.
LA ERA is 100% Malbec from a single parcel and it is the highest expression of this grape up in the Elqui Valley. This wine is aged for 20 months in concrete eggs and bottled all at once, therefore there is only one lot. The vineyards were planted in 2005. The first vintage of LA ERA was in 2015.
There was no La Era 2016. A frost in mid-October 2015 affected the vineyard and only 18% of the expected grape volume was obtained.
After a year without bottling La Era, our Malbec planted at 1,796 meters of altitude achieved a great varietal expression, with marked floral notes on the nose and very good acidity. The wine was stored in concrete eggs for 20 months and this second harvest produced 2,346 bottles.
CUESTA CHICA is a 100% Grenache from a single parcel planted in 2009 and 2010. Its distinctive notes and special features are the result of the interaction between the grapevine itself and the unique valley conditions at 2,179 meters of altitude. This was the first vintage of Cuesta Chica, a red wine fermented in truncated concrete wine tanks and indigenous yeasts. Floral, fine tannins and good acidity.
This CUESTA CHICA Grenache 2016 is a limited wine. The production was only 839 bottles. After launched, it had good reviews from specialized media: chosen Best Grenache by Descorchados Guide 2018 and the Wine Advocate critic, Luis Gutiérrez, listed it in his Best of 2018. This was the second harvest of CUESTA CHICA and 40% whole cluster was used in fermentation process, trying to get a better texture in the mouth. Subtle, elegant and balanced.
The vineyards where CUESTA CHICA Grenache grapes come from are 2,179 meters high, probably one of the highest Grenache vineyards in the world. The wine is fermented in truncated concrete wine tanks -not in the stone wine presses- since it is more susceptible to oxidation. 60% of grapes were whole cluster, providing some rusticity and texture on the palate.
For 2018 harvest, this Alcohuaz Grenache was made with 60% whole cluster to get greater texture on the palate. I was a quite fresh year, granting good varietal expression. The wine was stored 20 months in concrete eggs. The grapes of our Cuesta Chica Grenache come from an altitude of 2,179 meters above sea level, possibly one of the highest vineyard for Grenache in the world.
Cuesta Chica vineyard is located at 2,179 meters of altitude, in the middle of the Andes Mountains Range in the Elqui Valley. Grapes are fermented in concrete wine tanks with 60% whole clusters, aging in 1600-litre concrete eggs for 22 months. 2019 is the fifth vintage of this Grenache. On the nose it has aromas of sour cherries and granite powder. A red wine with great tension and firm structure, but delicate. The whole cluster technique provides higher freshness and delicious texture on the palate.
The 2020 Garnacha Cuesta Chica was aged for 22 months in concrete eggs. The nose presents notes of hops, herbs, black tea, followed by sour cherry. In the mouth, this is skinny with good tension and fine tannins. The Garnacha comes from one of the highest altitude vineyards of Alcohuaz, over 2.100m above sea level. Grapes are fermented in truncated concrete wine tanks with 60% whole clusters.
The 2021 Garnacha Cuesta Chica was aged for 18 months in a 1.600 liter concrete egg. Grapes are fermented in truncated concrete wine tanks with 100% whole clusters. There is no grape-treading and fermentation is spontaneous with indigenous yeast. The nose is floral and mineral at the same time. When reaching the palate, it has the texture provided by whole clusters. A wine with very good acidity, fresh, vertical, that will evolve well in the bottle in the next 5 years.
TOCOCO is 100% Syrah from a single parcel, planted in 2009 at 1,788 meters high. TOCOCO is a typical bird from the valley, which prefers walking than flying, so it moves swiftly through the vineyards. The wine is aged for 20 months in wood foudres before bottling. The first vintage of TOCOCO was in 2015.
The second harvest of this single-parcel wine has a great typicity, herbal notes blends in with meaty aromas, very typical of Syrah. After the harvest, grapes are treaded in rock wine presses and the wine is aged for 22 months in 2,500 litre wood foudres. The vineyards were planted in 2009 in the Andes Mountain Range at 1,788 meters.
This vintage had the earliest harvest for this parcel of Syrah (February 16th). The grapes had a maceration in a rock wine press and between 20% and 30% was fermented with whole cluster, trying to get texture and tension in the mouth. This wine has juicy tannins, acidity and black fruit. A unique character you only get in this Syrah from Elqui Valley.
This was a very good year for Alcohuaz Syrah. Significant amount of water accumulation occurred during winter and spring time, in mountains and streams surrounding the vineyard. For 2018 harvest, we used between 20% and 30% of whole cluster and the wine was stored for 21 months in wooden foudres. It has typical variety aromas with a body of fresh acidity allowing long evolution.
The 2020 Syrah Tococo also contains 15% Petite Sirah, and was aged for 22 months in foudres. Purple in color. The intense nose offers fresh blackberry and raspberry and hits of pepper, bacon and notes of the aging process. Dry and juicy in the mouth, with very fine tannins. The palate is lent energy and tension. Grapes had a pre-fermentation maceration of 2-3 days in rock wine presses. Fermentation is spontaneous with indigenous yeast and 100% whole cluster.
This is the first vintage of Alcohuaz’s Cariñena, from a vineyard planted at an altitude of 2,188 meters and which is likely to be the highest Carignan planted in the world. The wine has been aged three years in concrete eggs and then for 4 years in the bottle. During these years, the wine’s radical acidity reaches balance, becoming the main Pingo Pingo’s feature. It has granite dust, stones and graphite notes. Linear, tense and balanced.
2016 is the second vintage of Pingo Pingo, 100% Carignan from a 0.8 hectare vineyard planted at an altitude of 2,188 meters in the Andes Mountains. The wine was aged for 3 years in a concrete egg and then 4 more years in bottle. It was a difficult vintage, preceded by snow and frost that damaged the buds in the spring, resulting in much lower yields than in a normal year. The nose has herbaceous, hawthorn and granite dust notes. The palate has good acidity, with good tension and structure.