Francisco Baettig’s inaugural 2022 Los Compadres is a real cause for excitement. The celebrated Chilean winemaker and Cabernet Sauvignon specialist has been responsible for some exceptional Seña and Chadwick bottlings during his time as Errazuriz winemaker. This Cabernet Sauvignon is made from ancient dry-farmed vines in Maule. In keeping with the style of all Baettig’s own-label bottlings, these centuries-old, cool-climate Cabernet vines produce wines with incredible structure, freshness and complexity. The reliable Chilean sunshine also brings wonderful concentrated pure fruit notes to the wine. This inaugural Cabernet Sauvignon release is a blend of three vineyards. One of these sites consists of 120-year-old Pais vines grafted with Cabernet Sauvignon 60 years ago. The other two cool-climate sites are located in Chile’s coastal mountains, Cordillera de la Costa. At altitude, these dry-farmed vines ripen slowly and retain amazing energy. The nose of the 2022 Los Compadres Cabernet Sauvignon is fantastic – loads of floral potpourri aromas, violets, fresh blackcurrants, black cherry and Black Forest gateaux notes. The wine has impressive structural tannins that give a crunchy bite to the palate. The fruit remains very fresh while the added liquorice spice and peppery notes from some quality oak add complexity. It is almost Pauillac-esque with its graphite minerality thanks to the deep gravel soils found in this part of Maule. This is much drier and fresher than is typical of Cabernet from Chile but a fantastic fruit concentration is retained. The wine is aged in 30% new oak and older ex-Almaviva and Seña barrels for 18 months. Give this two to three years in bottle for the tannins to fully integrate and this will be singing.
Joaquin Hidalgo, Vinous
Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate
More reviews and scores
The 2022 Cabernet Sauvignon Viñedo Los Compadres hails from a vineyard containing 80-year-old País vines grafted with Cabernet Sauvignon in Coronel de Maule. It was 10% fermented in new oak barrels. Purple with a ruby sheen in the glass. The expressive nose offers fresh blackcurrant and plum with hints of spice and gentle cigar box aromas. Delicate and energetic in the mouth with refined tannins. The juicy, mouth-watering palate is full of flavor. A nuanced wine made in a dry farming region that was graced with rain in the middle of the summer of 2022.
I also tasted the very young 2022 Vino de Viñedo Los Compadres Cabernet Sauvignon, which has a majority of grapes from a vineyard they finally purchased in Coronel de Maule that has 60-year-old head-pruned, dry-farmed and ungrafted Cabernet Sauvignon, a rarity for the variety, because it was grafted onto 100-year-old País vines. It has 13.8% alcohol with a pH of 3.35, which is extremely low, and very high acidity, 7.12. They used 15% new oak, and part of the wine fermented in barrel. It has the structured tannins from Maule but with amazing tension, lots of fruit, some notes of tobacco and tea leaves, textbook blackcurrant and with balsamic and minty, subtle, juicy, very good complexity, harmony and elegance with grip, serious and a little à la Saint-Estéphe. 17,000 bottles produced. A single-plot selection of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Coronel de Maule Vineyard will be released later, as it's not yet bottled.
About the producer
Based in Traiguén – a largely unknown and undeveloped wine region – Baettig has rapidly become one of Chile’s most exciting names, producing cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.