About the Wine
Tabalí has a strong focus on quality and because of that, it has gained an outstanding reputation over the last years, including some awards like Best winemaker of Chile (twice), top 15 producers from Chile by Decanter, and many 90+ Parker points, among other accolades.
The Winery was built and designed to recall the lifestyle of the Molle Culture. These ancestors of northern Chile lived in ravines to protect themselves from the intense heat and to be able to get water, vegetation, and shade. Tabalí was built in a ravine and it is naturally integrated into the environment.
A small-scale, exclusive, family winery focused on details.
The winery is built in such a way that the fruit and wine are transported by gravity. The winery aims to avoid any unnecessary pumping and relies on nature to do the work where possible.
The wines are aged in French oak barrels coming from very exclusive forests as Jupille, Fontainbleau, Bertrange, Troncais, and Allier. The winery’s cellar capacity is 2,000 barrels.
Felipe Müller was born and raised in Santiago, Chile’s capital. Today, at the age of 41, he is considered one of the country´s most influential and important winemakers.
He graduated in Agronomy with a distinction in Oenology and Viticulture from the renowned Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. He was honored for having the best score in the examination of Oenologist at the College of Agricultural Oenologist Engineers of Chile and later received a special mention for having the second-best wine thesis of his generation.
In 2001 he joined Viña De Martino as a second winemaker, in charge of viticulture as well as the vinification for red and white wines. In this winery, he worked together with winemaker Marcelo Retamal, and formed a bold and renowned "Wine dupla". Together they investigated new wines, studied in depth various valleys and regions of Chile, and vinification around 350 vineyards throughout the country.
Later, as part of his investigations, Felipe harvested at two famous Chateaux Grand Cru Classé in Saint Emilion in France: Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere and Chateau La Mondotte. He also traveled to Australia to visit major areas such as Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, and King Valley. Together with a group of prestigious expert geologists, Felipe visited the most exclusive areas and vineyards in each region of France, such as Bordeaux, Burgundy, Loire, Rhone, Alsace, and Champagne. Other studies included technical visits to a Priory in Spain and the valleys of Napa and Sonoma in the United States.
With time, Felipe got to know Limari Valley (Chile) very closely, and once he tasted the area’s first Chardonnay, he declared the region his love.
In 2006 he joined Tabalí as Chief Winemaker. According to Felipe Müller “Tabalí, though relatively young, has enormous potential, as shown by its outstanding Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Syrah wines”. The winery’s goal is to make the finest wines of the Limari Valley and ultimately become a reference at a national level, by exploring new terroir, new plantations, and new selections of clones.
Felipe Müller was named "Best Winemaker of the Year" in the sixteenth version of “Guía de Vinos de Chile 2010”, Chile’s oldest and most prestigious wine industry publication. This distinction was an important recognition of the enthusiasm, passion, and dedication he puts into crafting wines. “Wine is my passion and an important part of my life. I feel capable of leveraging the knowledge I’ve built throughout these many years", says Felipe
In the year 2011, Felipe was appointed as Manager Director, keeping his position as Chief Winemaker. From then Felipe was not only responsible for the quality of the wines but also for the global strategy of the company.
In January 2014 Felipe Müller was chosen ‘Best Young Winemaker’ (next to Aurelio Montes who was chosen Best Senior Winemaker)
~94pts Descorchados, P. Tapia
There is yet one more Syrah, sourced from the coastal Talinay vineyard that is 12 kilometers away form the sea, and it will be called 2014 Syrah Talinay; it's not yet sold, but about to be launched. The vines were planted in 2006 on limestone-rich soils on a slope next to the Pinot Noir in their Talinay vineyard. It somehow feels a lot more elegant, layered and complex than any of the other Syrahs, and if the nose is subtle, the palate is much more elegant, refined and velvety. This does not compare to any of their Syrahs, as the texture seems closer to a Pinot. There is something salty in the finish and also some earthy, graphite-like aromas and flavors that make it apart. Super! 6,000 bottles were filled in early September 2015, and the wine is very young but accessible, and also with a good aging potential.
I had the chance to visit Tabalí in Limarí and their vineyard, including their new property in Río Hurtado, at 1,500 meters altitude where they where they have planted 8.6 hectares of different varieties -- and are producing a groundbreaking Malbec called Roca Madre. The winery is located in the middle of their main vineyard, a 2,500-hectare agricultural property where they also grow Pisco grapes and olives. Here they have some 150 hectares of vineyards, not all used for their wines, as they also sell some grapes. There's also another vineyard, Talinay, with very chalky soils -- a rarity in Chile -- where they own 85 hectares. On top of that, in 2014 they purchased a vineyard in Maipo to produce mainly Cabernet Sauvignon, some 80 more hectares, so there will be some new wines from that property in the future. ~93pts WA
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