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Cooled by its proximity to the chilly Pacific Ocean, Leyda in Chile produces lovely black-cherry scented pinot noir with a fresh and bright palate.
Product Code: CE11391
View all products by Viña Undurraga SA
Few will realise that Undurraga actually began as far back as 1879 when Francisca Undurraga Vicuña began bringing European grape cuttings back to his native Chile. He brought pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon from France and gewürztraminer and riesling from Germany, transporting the cuttings in lead capsules to stop them wilting in the extreme heat.Viña Undurraga was officially founded in 1885 and had its first harvest in 1891. It was the first Chilean winery to export to the US, in 1903, and Undurraga wine won its first international award as early as 1910. By the 1940s the company was already producing 30,000 bottles a year, rising to almost half a million bottles by the 1960s, a portion of which they exported to around 60 countries. During this time they enjoyed visits from royalty, as well as first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong!Throughout the final decades of the 20th century, the company continued to grow. However, when millionaire José Yuraszeck took ownership in 2006, Undurraga underwent significant modernisation. One of the results was the introduction of the TH or 'Terroir Hunter' range – which seeks out wines which combine the best match of climate, soil and grape variety. Undurraga’s vineyard area now stands at 1,800ha, which is managed by Agricultural Manager Francisco Valdivieso. The vineyards occupy various popular vine-growing sites across Chile, each of which is chosen for its suitability to particular grape varieties. Like many Chilean producers, Undurraga attempts to practise environmentally friendly viticulture, and interferes with nature as little as possible. With that in mind, the company uses drip irrigation in its vineyards, as it has proven the most effective both in terms of fruit quality and caring for their surroundings.Winemaking is managed by Rafael Urrejola, one of Chile's brightest young winemakers, who is also responsible for the TH range. Undurraga has two state-of-the-art winemaking cellars with a 20 million-litre capacity, so Rafael is also assisted by talented winemakers Carlos Concha and Patricio Lucero. In addition, Undurraga receives support from renowned oenologist Alvaro Espinoza, and Frenchman Philippe Coulon advises them on the production of their sparkling wine.The cool underground cellars, dating back to Undurraga’s beginnings in the nineteenth century, provide the ideal environment for ageing their Reserva wines.Unsurprisingly, Undurraga wines continue to win a host of prestigious awards each year, with its premium wines achieving consistently high scores amongst critics.
The Spanish conquerors introduced vinifera vines to Chile, and with them the establishment of vineyards for winemaking, in the middle of the 16th century, and the area around the capital Santiago has a history of winemaking stretching back nearly four and a half centuries. By the middle of the 19th century the Chilean wine industry was well established, but was making fairly rustic fare and it was a well-travelled local called Silvestre Ochagavia Echazzarreta who, in 1851, brought a French winemaker and a cargo of vine cuttings back from his travels to France and set a new era in motion.Robust domestic consumption kept demand, and tax revenue, high in the 20th century until domestic drinkers turned away in the 1970s and 1980s and many vineyards were pulled during the unsettling political upheavals of the former decade. The return of democracy stimulated investment and growth and a forward thinking, export oriented industry pointed to a brighter future.Quality begins, absolutely in the vineyard. In the last ten years Chile has begun to plant vineyards not just by matching variety and climate, which it has done very well up to now, but by mapping and analysing soils before planting. This new generation of soil-mapped vineyards planted in the last decade, with higher density, rootstocks and drip irrigation, or no irrigation, is now just starting to bear fruit and will revolutionise the quality of Chilean wines.Chile became first known for its cheap cabernets and merlots made from high yields in the fertile, warm, flat, flood-irrigated Central Valley. However, Chile is no longer a cheap country to buy from. Its economy is based on copper. It is the world's largest producer. Booming demand from China has seen its currency, the peso, strengthen, much like the Australian dollar which has been buoyed by its mineral resources. Labour for the wine industry is becoming more expensive and scarcer as it has to compete with the highly profitable mining industry which can afford to pay more. Energy costs have risen rapidly. It is estimated that half the vineyard area of Chile, about 62,500ha, is less than 15 years old. It probably takes 8-20 years to pay back a vineyard, and about 30 for a bodega. In Spain one can buy lovely 60-year-old-vine garnacha from co-operatives in Calatayud or Navarra at very cheap prices. The capital costs of the vineyard and winery have long been absorbed and the old vines offer lovely quality too.There are massive viticultural possibilities. This remarkable 3,000-mile-long country includes all the world's climates apart from sub-tropical and tropical. Grape varieties need different climates to prosper and Chile can accommodate them all.Many of Chile's cheap wines came from the flat, fertile and warm Central Valley, ideal for ripening large crops of very good entry-level wines. Before the advent of drip irrigation only these flat vineyards were suitable for flood irrigation. However, these flat lands were also situated in a warm climate and had fertile soils. The availability of drip irrigation allowed the planting of the cooler and less fertile south facing slopes, and availability of rootstocks allowed a greater diversity of soils to be planted.From Elqui in the north to Rapel in the middle of the country the rainfall increases from 90mm to 550mm. This lack of rainfall means Chile is free from most fungal diseases and has some of the healthiest grapes in the world. Water reserves from snow in the Andes, and the advent of drip irrigation (a vine needs about 700mm a year to survive) has allowed cool south-facing slopes, with less fertile soils, to be cultivated and yields controlled. From Maule down to Bío-Bío rainfall increases from 550 to 1,500mm and there are many unirrigated vineyards here.As well as the north to south dynamic, there is also a huge temperature variation east to west. Dr Richard Smart, a viticulture guru, says that to combat global warming viticulturists should head to the mountains or to the coast. Chile has both. More vineyards are being planted in the Andes mountains up to 2,000m, where average temperature decreases by 0.6°C with every 100 metres of altitude. The coast, cooled by the 14°C Pacific Ocean, has spawned a remarkable recent growth in vineyards. First came Casablanca (1982), then Leyda (1998), swiftly followed by Limarí (2005), Elqui, Aconcagua and Rapel. In between, the Central Valley and its offshoots like Apalta and Peumo are much warmer and are typically ideal for carmenère, and the southern Rhône varieties which are starting to appear, or for ripening large crops of cabernet and merlot to make cheaper wines.If Chile has successfully understood the matching of climate with grape variety, what it did not do, until recently, other than by accident, was to match the climate and variety with the right soil. There has been a step change in the quality of vineyards planted in the last 10 years or so. Knowledge about the soil following scientific analysis, appropriate planting density, choice of rootstocks, excellent clonal and massale selections of grape varieties, ability to plant cooler and less fertile south-facing slopes with the advent of drip irrigation (flood irrigation can only cope with virtually flat land) have all conspired to revolutionise the quality of vineyards planted in the past decade or so.For a more detailed examination of Chile and its regions please go to our How To Buy Chile section of our web site.
"This is excellent value,much better than some New Zealand pinots at the same price.
And also as good as some New Zealand Pinot Noirs that cost more.
We really enjoyed this wine."
I would recommend this wine
"Amazing!! Smooth, fruity and not too heavy. Lovely with a slight chill."
"This is excellent value,much better than some New Zealand pinots at the same price.
And also as good as some New Zealand Pinot Noirs that cost more.
We really enjoyed this wine."
I would recommend this wine
"Amazing!! Smooth, fruity and not too heavy. Lovely with a slight chill."
There are no press reviews for this product.
Just noticed now out of stock. Any more on the way WS?
Mr Nigel Reid (29-Nov-2020)
"Light berry fruits, aromatic with some pepper"
Mr James Bowkett (08-Nov-2020)
"Fruit, rich smooth needs to breathe buy again"
"Taking into account value, this is fantastic. Fruity and succulent. I will be ordering again. "
Mr Joshua Crow (03-Nov-2020)
"I hesitated between one and two stars, having tried this because of the continuing unavailability of the Corte Marcelo Limari Pinot (which ironically has just returned to the list). Corte Marcelo is a lovely wine, light on its feet, not quite a Burgundy taste-alike, but not an unreasonable substitute. This, however, had a thickness, tarriness and bitterness quite at odds with 'proper' pinot - as if the winemaker had tried to make something hefty and emphatic with the wrong materials. My limited experience of Undurraga wines is that they taste quite confected and lack subtlety - unfortunately this fits that profile. What a relief that Marcelo's mini masterpiece is back - well worth the extra pound!"
Mr Peter J Brennan (19-Oct-2020)
"Excellent value medium bodied wine wine. Good ripe dark fruit. Good on it's own or with food such as puy lentils."
Ms Louisa Mason (24-Sep-2020)
"Should start by saying that, for me, the number of stars is always relevant to the price, and for £8.50, this is a wonderful wine. Light, soft, smooth, with a very fruit forward (as others have said, think dark cherries/'forest fruits') bouquet. [there's definitely something about reviewing a wine that turns everyone into a bit of a wannabe wordsmith].
Might not necessarily be the wine you hinge any critical events on where you're looking to show off to the in-laws/impress a visiting dignitary, but a great choice for hosting good friends (especially where you may need to be going back to the case for more over the course of the evening), or even just a quite meal with the missus. Will definitely be getting more. "
Mr Michael Twomey (16-Sep-2020)
"Very impressed with The Wine Society's customer service. Within days of posting this review and unprompted by myself they had credited a refund to my account. You can't say fairer than that - excellent service.
Mr Mark Priest"Not drinkable. I can only assume we got a bad bottle because this was not drinkable. I even tried to use it to cook with and it tainted the taste of the gravy!""
Mr Mark Priest (10-Sep-2020)
"Think dark cherries, raspberries with some forest floor and paprika flavours coming through once opened for a while. Cool coastal climate and bags of sunshine gives the grapes time to ripen fully. This is a lovely Pinot Noir for the price and has a complexity - open two hours before drinking it in true room temperature (13 - 15C or 55 - 60f)"
Mr Jonathan O T Stewart (23-Jul-2020)
"Enjoyed this wine. Very decent Pinot for the price. An easy drinker which won’t break the bank. "
Mr Neil Goody (01-Jul-2020)
"Not drinkable. I can only assume we got a bad bottle because this was not drinkable. I even tried to use it to cook with and it tainted the taste of the gravy!"
Mr Mark Priest (28-Jun-2020)
"We really enjoyed this wine - it is very easy drinking and quite light for 13.5%. If you like your pinot noir fairly fruity and not too heavy bodied then this is for you. We actually blind tasted it and thought it was extremely good value! "
Miss Fay Montlake (10-Jun-2020)
"Smooth... very good value for money... will order again"
Mr Julian Bailey (25-May-2020)
"Really enjoyed this... smooth... just enough body... perfect mid week cheerful drink "
Mr Julian Bailey (06-May-2020)
"This will become a regular. Fabulous wine at a fabulous price. Pinot Noir is normally an overpriced grape but we do like it. Whats not to like about this little beauty at £8.50"
Mr Richard Barwick (08-Mar-2020)
"If you are looking for a cheap Burgundy alternative, keep clicking as this isn’t it. It is very nice though, on the fuller side of medium bodied, lots of dark cherry fruit (which seems common in Undurraga pinots) and whilst not complex has a long perfumed finish. Actually reminds me of a good Beaujolais (Morgon, maybe?) which at this price can’t be a bad thing!"
Mr Ned Awty (18-Feb-2020)
"Eye: pale ruby Nose: red cherries, raspberries, Balanced, medium intensity, length, and complexity. Good value. Easy to drink."
Mr Valentin Servel (11-Feb-2020)
"Bosh! A whack in the face when popped-and-poured. Definitely not a subtle wine. This has mega-black and lesser red fruit everywhere. Good gentle mouthfeel, very easy to enjoy. Touch of pleasing bitterness and acid on the finish. Tremendous value and great fun.
Mr Martin J Whalley (24-Jan-2020)
"Superb Pinot and amazing value for money "
Mr Gerry Hegarty (28-Dec-2019)
"I've been looking at budget Pinot Noirs as an alternative to a low end Bourgogne and whilst this example is clearly New World in style and therefore not with a Burgundy profile, it is stunningly good value. It's fresh, has concentrated black fruit aroma and flavour, but is not particularly complex. I may have had difficulty in identifying this as a Pinot in a blind tasting, but my word it slips down easily. In style and quality I would put it alongside an excellent Cru Beaujolais, but at knocking on half the price. I shall definitely buy this again even though it doesn't provide what I'm looking for. "
Mr Nigel Skelsey (22-Oct-2019)
Mrs Paula Santini (18-Sep-2019)
"Excellent value, worthy of a burgundy and twice the price. Serve lightly chilled."
Mr Andrew Sturmey (27-Jul-2019)
"If the stars represented value-for-money, I would give this wine five stars. It's no Burgundy, but if you're a Pinot addict (which I am) you will not be disappointed. If you tasted it blind, you would be in no doubt that is was a Pinot - and one that would make you want a second sip. "
Mr Gordon Best (04-Jul-2019)
"I am no pinot noir expert, but for me this is just a wonderful wine. It has the very unusual combination of having plenty of oomph yet a lovely bouquet and fresh, fruity flavour. We had it both with fish and with chicken and it was delicious with both. Will definitely order more."
Mr John Woodhead (28-Apr-2019)
"I thought it was OK but no more. Not much on the nose, very strong with a slightly bitter finish."
Mr John Oakley (27-Sep-2018)
"Delicious and interesting; bought as an alternative to a French wine- and glad I did."
Mrs Sandra E Emery (06-May-2018)
"Enjoyed this wine, good amount of fruit, full bodied which I wasn't expecting from a Pinot noir, very drinkable - will be reordering!"
Mr David Mitchell (03-Apr-2018)
"At this price it is a viable substitute for a red burgundy. And very enjoyable in its own right."
Mr Brian Glover (30-Sep-2017)
midweekwines.co.uk (2nd Aug 2018)
"Ocean influences also
keep temperatures down in Chile’s Leyda Valley and, thus, make it a prime
region for the quality pinot noir that, increasingly, Chile is producing. While
[this wine] may not have the texture of more expensive versions it certainly
delivers all the floral cherry, raspberry and clove flavours you expect and
even adds a little menthol (but very little tannin) to the mix. - Brian Elliott"
"Excellent value - yery nice and a great price - well worth a try. I'd say a great everyday wine."
Mr Richard Simon (07-Apr-2017)
Mr Robert Hudson (12-Aug-2016)
"Fruity, friendly & uncomplicated (bit like me some might say). Excellent value for money."
Mr Colin Mitchell (27-Nov-2015)
"Nice nose,light ,soft ,ripe fruit with nutty undertones. Very flavoursome 9/10"
Mr Andrew Swann (26-Oct-2015)
"I found this very green on the nose and bit disjointed on the palate. Chile is represents excellent value for an array of wines, but pinot noir is just not great from here. Better off with a kiwi or Bourgogne."
Mr Thomas Choong (22-Oct-2015)
"I like pinot noir - one of my favourite grapes. This one delivers. Not an expensive pinot, but very pleasant. Recommended!"
Mr David Fell (16-Sep-2015)
"After 10 yrs my wife suggested maybe we should look again at non french pinot noirs. Reluctantly i did. Its a perfectly nice jucy wine but it has as much in common with the Pinot Noir im used to drinking as my australian cousin has with me. The climate etc appears to have changed the grape into a very pleasant uncomplicated fruity drink, what you see is what you get and thats it."
Mr James Brown (12-Sep-2015)
"Once you get past the rather dreadful label (common to many Society wines) this is a really very nice, vey fresh, fruity pinot. Good value for money it is certainly worth trying, particularly when served slightly chilled."
Mr Ben Delaney (14-Jun-2015)
"Hmm... Carbonically macerated within an inch of its life... Not very pleasant."
Mr William Pollard (23-May-2015)
"Had this wine, cooled down in the fridge. It was very smooth and had some sweetness , tasted a little like strawberries. Good with lamb and I think it would be good summer drinking wine. 7.5/10. Good value for money."
Mr Shahi Sikdher (10-May-2015)
"Really enjoyed this - especially the low tannins. Excellent value. Will be my everyday pinot!"
Mrs Lisbeth Lamb (02-May-2015)
"Far better than I thought it might be at the price. Little tannin but lovely dark red fruit flavours. A great introduction to Pinot Noir. Excellent value."
Mr Geoffrey Cox (26-Feb-2015)
"What a great surprise ! Really tasty, fruity, another great wine society red! Well worth decanting! Full of flavour."
Mr Simon Giddins (02-Jan-2015)
"Really disappointing as I usually enjoy a good pinot noir. Thin and acidic followed by nasty aftertaste reminiscent of hospital wards. Poured down sink."
Mr Robert Brown (28-Nov-2014)
"I concur with Brad Fisher. Sharp and disappointing on opening, albeit my bottle improved slightly after 24 hours. Not a good representation of the WS's wares."
Mr Jon Milton (16-Nov-2014)
"In two words, sharp & disappointing; nil change over 24hrs, still that young wine taste & won't be added to the basket in the future. 4/10."
Mr Brad Fisher (18-Oct-2014)
"What a great surprise! Stacks of flavour and great value."
Mr Martin Swallow (14-Jul-2014)
"Bursting with fruit and smooth as you could want. You could argue that it is so smooth and fruity it tastes a little like a mass produced heavily blended wine however I thought it had enough character to set it apart. It is starkly different from the traditional dry French fare. I enjoyed the wine and will buy again."
Mr Adam Stockwell (24-Apr-2014)
"Very good wine at the price, The Society's red burgundy is no match."
Mr David McDowell (16-Apr-2014)
"I keep being impressed with this pinot. Whilst it doesn't rival the complexity and quality of pinots costing £30 and upwards, it is stunning value for money and a great dependable for those who enjoy their pinot noirs. Go on, give it a try."
Mr David Fell (08-Mar-2014)
"The negative comments about this wine are very surprising. We are now on our third case and have never found a poor bottle - yes, there's lots of fruit but it also has the structure to match. If your tastes run solely to thin cheap burgundy then this isn't for you. If on the other hand you enjoy the delights of full bodied pinot's from the US, Yarra and the Côte d'Or then I'm sure you will be as delighted as we are with the value for money. Well done Wine Society don't listen to the detractors!"
Mr Andrew Grimbaldeston (21-Dec-2013)
"Not good. And please TWS I don't want a refund! Some like this selection, others are the opposite - so I guess it depends what you are looking for - but personally I found it heavy, almost muddy with over-ripe flavours like a dull vin de pay d'Oc. Certainly not 'bright and cherry scented'. I have a spare bottle & will give it a year or so to see how things turn out. Could be that the bottle I tasted was not ready?"
Mr Tim Potts (17-Dec-2013)
"From Toby Morrhall, Wine Society Buyer. Viña Leyda confirm the wine we received is indeed our wine and that the issue is a labelling error, which they are investigating."
Mr Toby Morrhall (24-Sep-2013)
"From Toby Morrhall, Wine Society Buyer. Dr Ballardie, I am sorry you received a dozen bottle case of The Society’s Chilean Pinot Noir in which 4 bottles had a Marks & Spencer label on them. We will collect the wines and refund you. Both ourselves and M&S use the same supplier, Viña Leyda, for our own label blends but that is where the connection ends. We work entirely independently of each other. Our blend is separately made with winemaker Viviana Navarrete and bottled on a single occasion and then labelled and dispatched on receipt of our orders. We are awaiting confirmation from the supplier but I think a possible, and likely explanation is that a few M&S labels got muddled up with ours when it was being labelled. I am not clear what you mean by “…this is a rebranded, other sourced wine..” However may I make it clear that we have no possible interest or wish to deliberately pass off someone else’s blend as our own. We are very happy with our own blend, and we have received critical acclaim for our selection of Chilean wines winning the International Wine Challenge Award for the best specialist Chile merchant for seven out of the last eight years.
"First purchase of this, September 2013. Several bottles arrived with Marks and Spencer labels on them, partly covered up by The Wine Society's own label! I'm absolutely perplexed. If I had wanted M&S wines (and I don't), I would have bought the wine there. The Wine Society should be absolutely transparent. They should have clearly shown that this is a rebranded, other sourced wine - then I would not have bought it. Very sad - having been a loyal customer for 2 decades.
Not at all good, Wine Society. Better is expected."
Dr Francis W Ballardie (20-Sep-2013)
"My every day red that never let's me down."
Mr David Leal-Bennett (16-Feb-2013)
"I really like this. It's a very fruit forward easy drinking wine. Fantastic cherry aromas jump out of the glass. Excellent value. Not at all burgundy-like."
Mr Russell Day (03-Feb-2013)
"I am afraid that both bouqet and taste were unpleasantly acidic. We couldn't finish the bottle as it was an unpleasant experence. V disappointed."
Mr Paul Broomhead (27-Dec-2012)
"Persevere with this. Off putting nose of kidney, boot polish and blackberries does not affect the full, rounded, complex taste of a PN punching well above its weight. Not to be confused with branded quaffing Chilean PNs at the same price point. A classy wine equivalent in quality to wines twice or three times the price."
Mr Charles Stokes (16-Dec-2012)
"This seemed to have a chemical odour that masked what fruit there was (maybe to do with the oak?). Underneath there was some black cherry and an earthiness, but it was secondary to the unpleasant odour. On the palate I found it too hot, highly acid and with a bitter finish. This wine managed to be too hot, too sweet and too tart and I do not think that it can be representative of Chilean pinot at this price point. I'm absolutely prepared to concede that my palate may be at fault, but could it be that this wine is of an inconsistent standard (having looked at the other reviews, opinion seems to be polarised)? I bought 3 bottles and hope that I've opened a duff and that the other two will be better. I did not enjoy this wine."
Mr Jonathan Mumby (20-Nov-2012)
"Extremely disappointing. After a bad first bottle that didn't get beyond the initial taste, we pressed on to a second: sharp and acidic, with a prolonged after-taste and virtually none of the promised fruit flavours. We drink a reasonable quantity of Pinot Noir, but this will not be making future orders."
Mr Andrew Johnson (31-Jan-2012)
"This was a real surprise, not having had much experience of pinot noir before. It was packed with fruity flavours, went down well with a beef stew and we ordered 6 more!"
Mr Chris Pring (19-Dec-2011)
"Not for me I'm afraid. The aromas put me off before I tasted it. And it didn't improve from there for me. Disappointing."
Mr Alfred Rowcliffe (08-Dec-2011)
"After nearly 40 years of searching for a pinot noir that I enjoyed and understood, I had almost given up and accepted that I just didn't 'get' pinot noir and never would. The 2009 came as a complete revelation. It's brilliant stuff and if, like me, you have struggled to get to grips with pinot noir, then try this and you will understand what it's about."
Mr Christopher C Saffell (24-Apr-2011)
"Very good value. Delicious fruit on nose and palate. It did seem
'hot' to me on first tasting with the alcohol burning through a little, less so the next day. A more complex and 'grown-up' wine than similarly priced Chilean Pinot such as Cono Sur."
Dr Thomas E F Webb (19-Dec-2010)
"Mr Filippo Molinari knows his wines and the follow on 2009 is also a cracking wine. Burns a bit with alcohol however all that cherry fruit and vanilla copes well. Getting in to the bottle is a palaver but worth the effort. I couldn't crack the seal so took a steak knife to the join. The lower part was now loose but the top was locked solid. I'm an engineer so no problem, sunk the knife into the cap top and twisted the knife. Well in days of old they just used their sword so not much has changed. I'm warning the Society don't try to keep a Glaswegian from his wine! Get the quality sorted on these caps! Joking aside this pinot is nectar at a silly price and I don't really like most new world wines. I try them and some just slip under my guard. Goodbye Burgundy Hello Chile!"
Mr Chris Barclay (13-Oct-2010)
"The 2008 vintage has a fuller body and higher in alcool content than other Pinot Noirs I tasted, it would probably benefit from a couple of years bottle ageing to soften up. A good value wine."
Mr Filippo Molinari (19-Mar-2010)
"Lovely flavours within a restrained body that makes this wine both refreshing and a delight to sip. Another brilliant example of the Wine Society getting great value for money in one of their selections."
Dr Laurence Measey (06-Oct-2009)
"Pinot noir can either be very light , like cherryade, or quite heavy plum. This is well balanced , fruity without undue weight , enough glycerol and acid and at a very reasonable price. One of my favourite everyday wines, please continue with it!"
Dr Anthony Calland (01-Sep-2009)
The Sunday Times (22nd Mar 2015)
"Full of bright redcurrants and light oak and is a rare
pinot bargain. - Damian Barr"
South Wales Echo (1st Mar 2014)
"...an intense, zingy
concoction packed with cherry and red berry flavours and a touch of vanilla and
spice... great value. - Andrew Campbell"
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