Alvaro Espinoza Wine Ames IA
Holy Cross, IA
The Wines of �lvaro Espinoza: Kuyen and Antiyal
About a year ago we stopped by Antiyal, Álvaro Espinoza (pictured here) and Marina Ashton’s estate in Chile’s Upper Maipo Valley. Since new releases of their wines are now available, it is time to revisit the wines. In the Chilean world of huge commercial wineries, Álvaro and Marina’s venture is unusual. Their estate is small, and they practice biodynamic viticulture and winemaking. They also make some of Chile’s very best red blends.
Álvaro is son of another winemaker, Mario Espinoza, and studied enology in Chile at a time prior to its wine export boom when winemaking was not regarded as a promising profession. He previously made wine at Viña Carmen, and he continues to make wine at Emiliana Orgánico and Rayun, both of which are farmed organically and biodynamically. In our Report # 21 earlier this year titled The Chilean Wine Revolution, we gave the Emiliana “G” red blend one of our very highest evaluations. The two wines reviewed here—Kuyen and Antiyal—also consistently receive plaudits from the wine critics, including yours truly.
Global Vineyard Wine Importers of Berkeley, CA, brings in Kuyen and Antiyal.
Kuyen 2008 ($30) 90+
First launched in 2001, this wine is quite an exotic blend of dark fruit, earth and spice. It’s not an up-front-fruit knocks your socks off kind of wine but, rather, complex and subtle on the attack. There’s a purity of berry fruit on the nose with accents of earth and cured olives. It’s a bit reserved on the palate at the present with layers of spice and earth on a backdrop of dark red fruit, finishing with ripe tannins and notable length. We recommend cellaring for a year or two, but if you must drink it now, please decant a couple of hours in advance of the meal. Kuyen is sourced from fruit grown at Álvaro and Marina’s home estate. It is a blend of Syrah (49%), Cabernet Sauvignon (34%), and Carmenè...