Viña Cousiño Macul
Founded in 1856, Cousiño-Macul is the only 19th century winery in Chile that remains in the hands of the original founding family. The building of the Macul winery was entrusted by Luis Cousiño to a French architect firm in 1870. Located in the centre of the estate, it was built using bricks and limestone bonded with lime and pebble; a mixture of sand and egg white. The cellar was built seven metres deep with double walls where air flow circulates to create a passive ventilation system. This ensures a constant temperature of 14 ° C and humidity close to 75% for optimal wine ageing in barrels. This marvel of the nineteenth century is considered one of the most efficient and grand cellars of the world. 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.
With a bright and clean deep purple colour this wine offers a complex nose, in which notes of ripen blackberries, figs and cherries are accompanied by tobacco, caramel, black pepper, truffle and fresh violets. In the mouth, it has a soft entrance and medium acidity present during the whole experience. Toasted coffee, plums, vanilla and truffle would be some of the flavours that can be felt. It’s intense, balanced and round, with ripe tannins and a long lasting finish.
Due to its high complexity, this wine has a wide range of dishes for pairing. Possessing a great body and structure it’s a great complement for any red meat. The subtlety of aromas and flavors would be a perfect partner for Italian pastries, like a potato and pumpkin gnocchi gratin with Roquefort cheese sauce and parmesan. Other excellent dishes to try with would be filet mignon with fig risotto or beef ribs with grilled potatoes and rosemary.
After a careful selection while harvesting, the grapes are transported in small boxes of 10 kg to the cellar, where they undergo a second selection of bunches and a third one of single berries. The selected berries are carried into stainless steel tanks for a long period of skin contact and settling without oxygen at 7°C (44.6°F). Fermentation goes through at an average temperature of 25°C (77°F), taking around 9 to 12 days to continue with a post-fermentative maceration for a greater extraction of colour and aromas. After this process, 75% of this wine is transferred by gravity to new French oak barrels and 25% to one-year-old barrels for a 15 months aging process where it also passes through a full malolactic fermentation. After this period of time it is bottled without any filtration and continues evolving and ageing in the cellar for at least two more years.