Ever wondered why the Norwegian crossed the fjord?
Answer: to catch a boat to Chile!
Not very funny (chicken crossing road, etc), but it's true.
Twenty five years ago, shipping owner Dan Odfjell left Bergen behind to set up a winery in Chile's Maipo Valley. The first vineyards were planted in 1994 just outside of Santiago. After twenty years there are now 115 ha of plantings the length of Chile. Grape varieties include: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenere, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and some very old vine Carignan.
All the vineyards are 100% organic and are in conversion to using biodynamic production techniques.
The "gravity feed" winery, designed by Laurence (one of Dan's sons), is set into a hillside, with many of the winery processes and barrel storage being underground.
A unique aspect of the Odfell vineyards is the breeding and use of the ancient species of Norwegian Fjord horses for sustainability (control of weeds, no soil compaction when transporting grapes at harvest).
Odfjell make a very wide spectrum of wines, but, at present, we have chosen three excellent value wines from the "Armador" range that are all available at £9.65 per bottle.
Odfjell "Armador" Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 100% Maipo Valley fruit from 17 year old vines. Distinctive aromas of strawberries and plums as well as liquorice, anis, vanilla, chocolate and champignon mushrooms. Perfectly ripe, fresh and balanced.
Odfjell "Armador" Merlot, 2010 100% Maipo Valley fruit from 10-15 year old vines. A concentrated nose of cherries, figs, violets and white fruits (apricots and peaches). The palate is long, complex and juicy with soft tannins. Just a small proportion of the wine was aged in used oak barrels.
Odfjell "Armador" Carmenere 2012 Central Valley fruit from 10-20 year old vines. Intense aroma of black fruits and liquorice with spicy notes of black pepper and cloves, vanilla and bitter chocolate. Ripe, soft palate with some spice. Deliciously supple texture and very moreish!
90 points for the Armador Carmenere in the Chilean 2014 wine guide "Descorchados"
Give them all a go right now (unless you're trying to cross a fjord in Norway!)