LCBO Vintages Release
Ritual practices biodynamic, low-impact farming in Chile’s Casablanca Valley. The winery is a partnership between winemaker Rodrigo Soto, a pioneer of biodynamic winemaking in Chile, and American consulting winemaker Paul Hobbs. The estate is located at the valley’s extreme eastern end, set against the sweeping beauty of the dramatic Coastal Range and cooled by the air from the Pacific Ocean driven by the Humboldt Current. The vineyards are surrounded by 6000 acres of native forest, creating an environment where vines thrive alongside natural wildlife corridors and native vegetation.
Ritual Pinot Noir is a meticulous selection from nine hectares of biodynamic Pinot Noir planted on the coolest section of the winery’s Casablanca Valley estate vineyard. The south-facing, gently-sloping vineyard is perched 310 metres above sea level. The vines, planted in 1998, are rooted in granite-rich sandy loam soils. Mirroring low-impact approach in the vineyards, Ritual prefers gentle handling and a sort of revival of Old World winemaking technique in the cellar. Grapes were harvested by hand in small baskets in the early morning, when the fruit is still cool. Sorted twice, whole berries were fermented by native yeast in open-top tanks and punched down by hand, then pressed off in a gentle basket press.
An open, juicy Pinot Noir with a fresh, generous nose of cherries and raspberries, the wine is round and smooth on the plate with a silky, velvety finish.
“A pinot noir with beautiful strawberry and plum aromas and flavors. Full body, fine tannins and a precise ripe fruit and fresh character. Complex with light chocolate, walnut and berry aftertaste. Show a little more ripeness than 2014. Drink now. Made from biodynamic grapes.”
93 points, JamesSuckling.com, May 2016