The Leyda Valley in Chile is less than ten miles from the icy Pacific ocean and a little over 25 miles south of Casablanca, well known for its cool climate grapes. It’s no surprise that cool climate pinot noir can do well in this relatively young appellation of Leyda Valley, and in fact its one of the three regions – along with Casablanca to the north and Bio Bio to the deep south – that are increasingly known for their pinot noir wines.
The winery credited for securing the denominacion de origen (official appellation status) for Leyda Valley in 2002 was Vina Leyda, which now farms about 600 acres of estate fruit. The wines are made in a modern, 12,000 hl capacity winery.
Vina Leyda produces a range of pinot noir wines including the 2009 Vina Leyda Classic Pinot Noir from Leyda Valley. It is full-bodied but fresh, with briary fruit aromas and juicy plum and cranberry flavors and hint of spice. This is a fruit-focused, balanced wine that is a great value at $13. I love it with grilled or broiled salmon or pork tenderloin, but it would go equally well with vegetarian dishes like grilled portobello mushroom brushed with a little balsamic, roast vegetables or roast beet salad with goat cheese.
At this price, you can have pinot noir everyday!