Arboleda by Vinous: “A lovely example of something that differs from the norm”

Arboleda, which means a grove of trees, is a tribute to the more than 1,450 hectares (3,583 acres) of native forest that surround its sustainably managed vineyards. It is the legacy from Eduardo Chadwick, the founder, to his 4 daughters, the new Chadwick generation, reflected in single-vineyard wines full of honesty, freshness and elegance.

Viña Arboleda was widely praised in the last Chile report written by Joaquín Hidalgo, Argentinian journalist, oenologist and reviewer of Argentina and Chile for Antonio Galloni’s Vinous, one of the most renowned wine publications in the world.

Hidalgo travelled to Chile earlier this year and visited around 40 producers from Aconcagua to Itata valleys. His report entitled “Chile in Transition” published in June 2022 recounts his experience in the country across 800 bottled rated for the article. After tasting the 2020 vintage of Arboleda, the winery was referred as a benchmark producer within the Aconcagua Valley:

In Aconcagua the flavors grow more intense along with a medium body and polished tannins: vintage 2020 of Arboleda is a good example.”

Furthermore, each of the wines tasted managed to display the philosophy of Arboleda, which is to craft single-vineyard wines that reveal the purest expression of each unique terroir within its vineyards in the Aconcagua Valley. For instance, the Chardonnay from the Aconcagua Costa vineyard is “intense with accomplished freshness” nuanced with its smoothness; the Cabernet Sauvignon owns “a distinctive flavor profile for the variety in Chile” while the Syrah is “an enjoyable wine set against a precise, fruity backdrop” and the Carmenere stands out as “a lovely example of something that differs from the norm”; all last three from Las Vertientes vineyard.

The following are the wines and their full reviews included in the report:

Arboleda Sauvignon Blanc 2021, 92 points: “The 2021 Sauvignon Blanc from Quillota, Aconcagua Costa, was one-fifth fermented in foudres. Yellow with greenish flecks. The herbal nose presents a core of lime, rue, mint and gentle jalapeño notes. A nuanced white that’s intense and malic in the mouth, with accomplished freshness and a citrusy finish.”

Arboleda Carmenere 2020, 92 points: “The 2020 Carmenere has a 3% dash of Petit Verdot from Hijuelas, Aconcagua, and was aged for 14 months in French barrels, one-fourth of them new. Purple in color. The nose presents notes of jalapeño, blackberry and ripe plum before the oaky backdrop. Indulgent and smooth, the palate is compact for the variety, with intense flavor and a juicy flow. A lovely example of something that differs from the norm.”

Arboleda Cabernet Sauvignon 2020, 91 points: “The 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon is blended with 8% Cabernet Franc and 5% Syrah from Hijuelas, Aconcagua Valley, and spent 14 months in one-third new barrels. Dark purple in color. The nose offers black tea, black currant, blueberry, cigar box and floral aromas. In the mouth, this is skinny for the variety, with a fresh, fluid feel channeled by grippy tannins. A distinctive flavor profile for the variety in Chile.”

Arboleda Syrah 2020, 90 points: “The 2020 Syrah from Hijuelas, Aconcagua, was aged for 12 months in one-fifth new barrels. Purple in the glass. The nose presents notes of pepper, blackberry, ripe plum and an unusual hint of flesh. In the mouth, this is silky and intense, with delicate, grippy tannins and slightly tartaric acidity. An enjoyable wine set against a precise, fruity backdrop.”

Arboleda Pinot Noir 2020, 90 points: “The 2020 Pinot Noir from Quillota, Aconcagua Costa, spent 11 months in used barrels. Vivid ruby red in color. The nose presents engagingly intense notes of blood, damp earth, and sour cherry. Nimble and silky on the palate, with accomplished freshness and traces of herbs at the back of the mouth before an aftertaste framed by the grippy tannins.”

Arboleda Chardonnay 2020, 90 points: “The 2020 Chardonnay from Quillota, Aconcagua Costa, spent 10 months in barrels and is a greenish yellow in color with a nose of stewed green apple, ginger and creamed corn over a bed of aromas from the ageing process. Intense with accomplished freshness, it’s smooth and a little expansive thanks to the malic acidity.”