Cousino-Macul Lota Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon
Winery Overview Founded in 1856, Cousiño-Macul is the only 19th century winery in Chile that remains in the hands of the original founding family. All Cousiño-Macul reserve wines are estate grown, vinted and bottled. After seven generations and over 150 years, Cousiño-Macul’s mission rings clear — to produce world-class wines that are unmistakably Chilean, carrying the distinctive character of the Maipo Valley. Location of Vineyard In 1994, the capital city of Santiago had expanded to the point of completely surrounding the original Macul estate in the southeast of the city, so the search for an additional single estate vineyard location began. In May 1996, the Cousiño family bought 750 acres of land in Buin, an agriculturally rich subregion of the Maipo Valley, about 20 miles southeast of Santiago. The Buin estate met the Cousiños’ ambitious criteria of soil composition, climate and proximity to the Andes Mountains. Few wine producers have the opportunity to make a completely new start, incorporating the best of their age-old experience and the most contemporary technology available. As technology continues to advance in the vineyards and wineries around the world, Cousiño Macul has seized this opportunity to innovate while staying true to the most important part of their long history. Winemaking Philosophy All Cousiño-Macul wines are made entirely with grapes sourced from its two estates located in the Maipo Valley. Both the Macul estate in the southeast of Santiago and the estate in Buin are part of the subregion known as Alto Maipo. The Alto Maipo is appropriately named due to high altitude orientation at the foot of the Andes Mountains. As the snow melts in the spring and summer, the Andes provide an ample source of pure, fresh water for vineyard irrigation. The soil is especially suited for the production of high-quality grapes: shallow, sandy-silky topsoil with rough stone below. All vines are planted on original root systems. Vines for new plantations come from massal selections carried out in the nurseries at Macul over a period of 10 years. This selection has allowed the preservation of genetic material of great value, originally brought to Chile by Luis Cousiño in 1860, including Cabernet and Merlot varieties from Pauillac in Haut-Medoc, and Sauvignon Gris from Martillac in Graves. A graduate of the University of Bordeaux in agricultural engineering and oenology, Pascal Marty has held several esteemed positions at renowned wineries around the world.Early in his career he worked in Pauillac, at Baron Philippe de Rothschild in oenological research, viticulture and quality control. While there, he worked on several iconic wines, including the Mouton-Cadet, Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Chateau d’Armialhac and Chateau Clerc Milon. His work later took him to several U.S. wineries and eventually his tremendous talents were sought in Chile, where he worked as oenologist for Almaviva and Baron Philippe de Rothschild. In 2003, Pascal joined Cousiño-Macul as their leading oenologist. Soon after taking this role, he was entrusted by the Cousiño family to develop and create Lota, the family’s 150th anniversary wine. Considered one of his greatest achievements thus far, Lota earned a 93-point score from the Wine Advocate with its first vintage. Pascal directs the winemaking team on all of the Cousiño-Macul selections, ensuring adherence to the utmost quality standards established by the family over numerous generations.
Technical Info: Clusters were hand selected and hand picked in 10-kilo lug boxes. In the cellar, a manual cluster selection took place and berries were pressed by a small basket press. After a 7-day cold soak, the fermentation lasted 9-12 days in 10,0000 L tanks at an average temperature of 76°for Merlot and 79° for the Cabernet Sauvignon. Post fermentation maceration took 12 to 18 days. Dozens of small batches of Cabernet and Merlot were kept separate and only the exceptional barrels became key components of Lota. Malolactic fermentation took place in barrels and aging lasted for 15 months in new oak barrels. The wine was bottled unfined.
A deep dark red color with violet tints. Complex aromas of dark fruit with cassis, hints of cedar and spice. Full-bodied and elegant with luscious flavors of blackberry, currant, cocoa, soft oak and warm spices. A core of concentrated and delicious black fruits is framed by light toasty oak and ripe tannins which continues into a long, ultrasmooth finish.