Don Maximiano 2015 is dense, muscular and refined. Dark and rich in colour with aromas of liquorice, fresh red berries like raspberries, cherries and strawberry, accompanied by soft tones of chocolate and nutmeg. While still distinctively focused, the wine is all about fruit intensity, with notes of cedar and dried cherry, currant and cardamom. With firm tannins in balance with black fruit flavours and bright acidity, the 2015 Don Maximiano is powerful, dense, yet beautifully balanced and precise.
The Don Maximiano vineyard is located in the Aconcagua Valley and the oldest among them are Max I, Max II and Max V blocks. The region has a long dry season with moderately warm summer days cooled by the soft evening breezes that enter the valley from the Pacific Ocean. Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere vines were planted in 1978 and 1993, respectively, while the Petit Verdot was planted in 1999. The three vineyard blocks that contribute grapes for Don Maximiano Founder’s Reserve are planted on north or northeast facing hillsides with 5°–25° of slope. Soils are volcanic, colluvial and piedmont (Max I and II) or alluvial (Max V) in origin, with good drainage conferring low to moderate vigour. The colluvial and volcanic rocky soils of Max I show high presence of mica with clay-silt texture. Max II has deep colluvial soils of volcanic origin, with loam to sandy-loam texture, and both have 30–40% stone content. Max V has deep gravelly alluvial soils with 50% stone content and excellent drainage.
The 2015 vintage was defined by warm and dry conditions, which created the ideal conditions for healthy vines, and resulted in perfectly ripe fruit for this outstanding year. Harvest 10 days earlier than usual allowed us to produce wines with remarkable intensity, great tension, aromatic brightness with a strong sense of place. Throughout the growing season, we had dry conditions except for a few showers in March, resulting in a very healthy fruit set and moderate crop size. As the fruit matured, the weather was ideal for flavour development with only a couple of hot spikes experienced in the season. During the spring, October was considerably warmer than a normal year, activating the vegetative growth of the vines, which in due time formed a well balanced and healthy crop. November and December had temperatures that were closer to our recorded averages, ensuring ideal conditions during flowering and having a beautifully even fruit set. In all, the spring heat summation was 8% higher than a normal year. This warm trend blessed us with a perfectly homogeneous and short veraison that arrived seven days earlier than the previous season. The summer months of January and February had temperatures that were slightly below historical averages, allowing the vines be fully active and providing a steady pace towards maturation. March and April were a complete change in nature as temperatures rose. By this point in time though, the berries had already reached intensity of flavour, colour and delicious tannins that we would expect from the vineyard. The 2015 vintage was one that tested our courage to pick early. We brought forward the picking dates 10-20 days depending on the variety in order to preserve the fresh yet intense character of style of our Don Maximiano wine.
Grapes were handpicked in the cool morning hours and transported in small 15-kg boxes to the winery, where they were inspected on a double selection board to assure only the best quality grapes go to the final blend. Fermentation took place in small-volume stainless steel tanks to allow a larger proportion of contact between the skins and the juice. Up to three daily pumpovers were made according to the desired level of extraction. Depending on the individual development of each lot, they completed a total maceration time of 8 to 30 days. All lots were aged for 22 months in French oak barrels (68% new), where malolactic fermentation, clarification and stabilization occurred in a natural way. To best express the terroir of the Aconcagua Valley, and to increase the wine’s complexity, small percentages of Carmenere, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carmenere were added to the final blend to make it a truly complex wine.
- Grilled and Roasted Red Meats
- Mild Creamy Cheeses
- Mature Strong Cheeses