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Extraordinary Vintage: 2018 Reds Spotlight Chile’s Winemaking Promise

November 14, 2019 GMT
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Massimo Leonori, head sommelier for Concha y Toro
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Massimo Leonori, head sommelier for Concha y Toro

MENDOCINO COUNTY, Calif., Nov. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Following a near-perfect vintage in Chile—one seemingly carved from the collective imagination of growers and vintners alike—Casillero del Diablo, one of the most powerful wine brands in the world,2 has unveiled its lineup of sumptuous Chilean reds from 2018, extolling the exceptional quality of this banner vintage. Unequalled by any vintage in Chile’s recent memory, 2018 brought a confluence of ideal conditions to the country’s diverse wine regions: a wet winter that filled reservoirs, a warm spring free of significant frost, a temperate summer that balanced warm weather with cooling fog, and a long growing season characterized by slow and even ripening. The results are some of the most extraordinary red wines ever seen from Chile’s idyllic winemaking terroir, now in market throughout the U.S.

A Sensory Experience: Chile’s 2018 Vintage in the Glass
Casillero del Diablo and its importer Fetzer Vineyards are bringing the extraordinary 2018 vintage to life in the U.S. through a series of sensory experiences hosted by Concha y Toro Head Sommelier Massimo Leonori, known as the campaign’s Master of Senses. Highlighting key aromas found in the wines and a tasting of several signature reds, the sensory experiences have captivated connoisseurs in key U.S. markets, including New York, Florida and Texas. In 2020, Leonori and the Extraordinary Vintage tour will continue visits to major U.S. cities, while a point-of-sale campaign touting the vintage will expand Chile’s visibility among consumers.

“The quality of the 2018 vintage in Chile cannot be overstated,” said Marcelo Papa, veteran winemaker and Technical Director at Concha y Toro, which owns Casillero del Diablo. “The mild winter, warm summer and lengthy growing season gave us the best conditions I’ve seen in decades of winemaking in Chile. We were able to harvest the fruit at the precise moment of ripeness, without rushing, which allowed us to achieve wines of great balance, complexity and aromatic expression.”

Stars Aligned: A Convergence of Extraordinary Elements
A confluence of events created superior growing conditions throughout Chile in 2018:

  • Idyllic Weather: La Niña-inspired cooling trends began in late spring and continued into summer, setting the stage for even ripening before harvest.
  • Even, Extended Ripening: An excellent bud break free from frost incidents was followed by the slow accumulation of grape sugars. Balanced by superb natural acidity, particularly in red varieties, grapes lingered on the vine into the autumn months, allowing winegrowers to pick fruit at optimal maturity without the threat of inclement weather.
  • Exquisite Balance: As a result of the vintage’s combined beneficial factors, remarkable tension and freshness are front and center in the glass for the 2018 wines from Chile—particularly in red wines, like the 2018 Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere, each showcasing exquisite balance and varietal character.

In the Spotlight: Chilean Wine Takes Center Stage
Casillero del Diablo’s U.S. release of its 2018 range comes at a time when the brand is outpacing the Chilean category (+4%) and imports overall (+2%), with a remarkable growth rate of +29%3. This momentum is helping to drive the Chilean category’s renewed advance in the U.S., expanding awareness of the world-class wine region. Situated at the edge of the world—between the vast arctic wilderness of Patagonia, the arid Atacama Desert, the spectacular Andes Mountains and 2,600 miles of Pacific coastline—Chile’s notable vineyards offer a tremendous locale for growing distinctive wines. As a leading premium import,4 Casillero del Diablo brings to life the lauded terroirs of Chile’s mountainous and coastal wine regions with a line that indelibly intersects quality, value and acclaim—and is now poised to continue its ascent as a global wine leader with the release of the extraordinary 2018 vintage.

About Casillero del Diablo
Named for the “Devil’s Cellar,” where coveted wines were fiercely protected in the 19th Century, Casillero del Diablo was founded in the heart of Chile’s famed Maipo Valley in 1966. Twice hailed as the second-most powerful wine brand in the world by the Global Wine Brand Power Index, Casillero del Diablo crafts award-winning wines that evoke Chile’s extraordinary wine regions, shouldered between the rugged terrain of the Andes Mountains and the foggy coastline of the Pacific Ocean. The collection includes a Cabernet Sauvignon sourced primarily from Maipo Valley; a Carmenere consistently acclaimed by wine critics; a bright, coastal Sauvignon Blanc; and a crisp Rosé. With more than 50 scores of 90 points and above in recent years, Casillero del Diablo is an unforgettable source for exemplary Chilean wines that live up to their legend. CasillerodelDiabloUS.com

©2019 Imported by Fetzer Vineyards, Hopland, Mendocino Co., CA

1 Source: IRI TTL US MULO + C + Liquor/750ML/$ Sales, Vol Sales, Distribution/L52 Wks Ending 10-20-19: 750ml size
2 Source: Global Wine Brand Power Index, 2018 & 2019
3 Source: IRI TTL US MULO + C + Liquor/Vol Sales/L26 Wks Ending 10-20-19
4 Source: IRI/TTL US MULO + C + Liquor /PREM/IMPORT/$ Sales, Vol Sales/L52 Wks Ending 10-20-19: Casillero del Diablo is a top-10 premium import brand, currently #9

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SOURCE Casillero del Diablo