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The 1999 Marvista Reserve exhibits a rich nose of tropical fruit and toasted oak. On the palate, the wine is light and lovely with hints of butter and oak that linger to the finish. Initially, we discovered hints of butterscotch and caramel tone which are pleasantly balanced with a lemon citrus finish. We recommend that you enjoy this light lovely wine over the next year.
The 1999 Marvista Reserve Chardonnay makes an excellent foil to full-flavored fish dishes. Chicken, pork and savory rice offerings also provide tasty pairings, especially if the true flavor of the natural ingredients haven't been obscured by heavy sauces. The Marvista Reserve also makes for a delightful aperitif, as there is more than oak to this Chardonnay.
Nestled at he feet of the towering Andes at the eastern edge of the Aconcagua Valley, Santa Marvista is one of the new shining stars on the Vina San Esteban crown. Under the very able direction of winemaker Maria Isabel Gonzales, the estates of Vina San Esteban collectively form one of the largest producers of high quality Chilean wine. Located in the town of Los Andes in the mountains north of Santiago, the estates of Vina San Esteban extend along the Aconcagua River and spread over the foothills of the Andes. Here the soil, climate and availability of water make this one of Chile's most important premium winemaking regions. At Marvista the grapes are harvested only in the early morning, when the air is cool. This is to prevent spontaneous fermentation and the fateful loss of natural acidity that occurs in harvested fruit when temperatures soar. From the vineyard, the grapes are rushed to the nearby winery where they are de-stalked and soft pressed. In the case of the Marvista Reserve Chardonnay, the free flowing juice, or must, is then fermented at controlled temperatures in modern, stainless steel tanks. After fermentation, the Chardonnay is allowed to rest for an additional six months in tank before a three month hiatus in oak barrels. On account of the expense, the use of oak barrels for Chardonnay is a relatively new phenomena in Chile. Due to the undeniable quality of the estate's wine and the world wide demand for premium Chardonnay, Santa Marvista is one of the fastest growing wines in the burgeoning export market.
Chile: A Long and Illustrious Fare for the Vine Chile has had a long and illustrious love for the vine. Vines were first brought to this country in the 1530's by missionaries who followed the Conquistadores. Early records indicate that even the quality of the fruit produced from the very first transplanted Spanish vines was excellent, yielding grapes that "were small and red and extremely tasty." Not surprisingly, most of the early cuttings were of Spanish origin. The wines that followed were modeled on traditional white and red Spanish types, or were used as altar wines. This all changed in 1851, when the "Father of Chilean viticulture", Silvestre Ochagavia began importing French vines and French viticultural experts to plant Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and other traditional Bordeaux varietals in the central valleys of Chile. As Ochagavia's vision turned into unqualified success, the Chilean government joined the bandwagon and had more French vines imported, and the modern wine industry was launched in Chile. Today the vast majority of Chilean viticulture, and certainly the very best, still takes place in the central valleys of Chile between the Aconcagua and Maule Rivers. This 180 mile swath of rivers, valleys and tall peaks conveniently lie no more than eighty or ninety miles north or south of Chile's capital, Santiago. Nearly all of this prime viticultural land is devoted to the production of premium, Bordeaux style wines, red and white, and more recently to Chardonnay. Chile is the only major wine producing nation to totally escape the devastation of phylloxera, the deadly vine louse that destroyed the vineyards of Europe in the 19th century and continues to wreak havoc in California even today. It is thought that the Andes, which lie between Chile and Argentina have prevented the deadly pest from entering Chile from that side; that the barren Atacama Desert has obstructed its entry from the north; and that the prevailing westerlies from the Pacific all but guarantee that it cannot enter from the sea . So far, Chile has also escaped the scourge of mildew that affects many other wine producing regions around the world. Given the extremely favorable natural conditions that exist in Chile for the production of wine and the recent influx of capital and international investment on the part of European and American wine interests, Chile may soon be the world's best source of quality wine at affordable prices. Given a continuing stable political situation, the sky is the limit for this beautiful land.
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