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 Monster Block Pinot Noir is a meticulous selection from a plot of biodynamic Pinot Noir planted on a southern slope at the foot of the Coastal Range. Perched 310 metres above sea level, the vines in this gently-sloped plot of land are rooted in soils rich in quartz and mica. Mirroring low-impact approach in the vineyards, Ritual prefers gentle handling and a sort of revival of Old World winemaking technique in the cellar. Hand-picked at first light, whole berries were fermented by native yeast in 400 L barrels for 14 months to achieve texture and complexity. After fermentation, the lees were stirred regularly for 11 months in order to obtain roundness and creaminess on the palate.
Intense with fresh aromas of cherry, raspberry and white flowers, this Pinot Noir is effervescent and juicy on the palate, showing bright acidity balanced with silky tannins that lead to a long, pleasant finish.
“Casablanca suffered less from the rains in 2016 than some other regions and this single vineyard Pinot is well up to standard. With 40% whole bunches adding some texture and spice, this has savoury tannins, notes of tomato skin and red fruits and bright acidity. 2019-24 “
93 points, Tim Atkin’s Chile 2019 Special Report, Feb 2019