"While looking at the fireplace, having a Cuban cigar with a glass of RE Velado," wrote Pablo Morande of Bodegas RE, "it's a good opportunity to introduce myself and my family." Not that Pablo Morande needs any introduction. "I've known Pablo for 15 years, since 1998," said Jorge Perez, our South American Portfolio Director. "We've traveled together and worked together through different regions in Chile. We've been talking about this project for four years, and so to see it come to fruition means so much more than just picking up another wine. It's personal." Bodegas RE. A new family-run boutique winery from Casablanca, Chile.
When we asked Pablo to tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the launch of his new underground (literally and metaphorically) winery, where there's not a glint of stainless steel tank in sight, this is what he wrote:
"Maybe [it's] because we are a real family involved in the history of Chilean wine for many generations, since the first Morande arrived from France in the 18th century to develop a vineyard, using clay vessels for winemaking. Maybe because after my 40 years making wines for big companies with high technology producing very good commercially successful wines, now is the time to Re-volutionize, looking back thousands of years to the ancestral and natural winemaking. Maybe because we are an unusual wine family, because three of my children are winemakers and involved. Maybe because my wines represent my dreams and today my son Pablo is reading my dreams and blending with his own dreams to make the RE wines. It's kind of the natural law. First develop the given talents and then give them to the next generation."
Passing the flame in the form of Bodegas RE to his son Pablo and to his two daughters, Piedad and Macarena, Pablo is coming full circle, and relinquishing the reigns of control, both personally and in the cellar. Working with clay vessels and large neutral oak tanks, without any forms of temperature control in the process, Morande employs indigenous yeasts and old-school techniques to craft his RE Chardonnoir and RE Velado. Made from 100% Pinot Noir, RE Velado is vinified like a rosé in oak barrels, then aged for three years "sous voiles". Floral with red berries and volcanic soil notes, RE Velado shows mid-palate concentration with acidity that lifts and carries forward to a lingering red fruit finish.
The RE Chardonnoir is a classic blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir, fermented in 500-600L oak barrels that are over ten years old. Aged on lees for 20 months in these same barrels, RE Chardonnoir is bright, fresh and floral with aromas of white peach, and a mouthfeel that's juicy but not fat with acidity that lengthens the white pepper finish.
"There are people in Chile making natural wines," added Jorge, "but mostly it's an industry making textbook wines. There are very few people thinking outside the box."