Rafael Tirado

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Country of Origin: Chile
Location: Maule Valley, Central Valley
People: Rafael Tirado & Family, Owners & Winemakers
Viticulture: Practicing Organic

Items

Rafael Tirado 2019 'Laberinto' Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Maule Valley Login AG 94+ AG 92 In Stock
Rafael Tirado 2018 'Vistalago' Mezcla Blanca, Maule Valley Login <1 Case
Rafael Tirado 2019 'Vistalago' Mezcla Blanca, Maule Valley Login WA 93 AG 90 In Stock

Laberinto is a small gravity fed winery owned by Rafael Tirado and his family in Colbun. Colbun is an eastern mountainous region located within the Maule Valley. It is inserted in the foothills of the Andes, about three hours south of Santiago. The property was a summer resort for the family even before the waters of the Maule River were retained in 1985, which formed the largest lake in the central part of the country.

Vistalago is the second label by Rafael Tirado of Laberinto. Like Laberinto, Vistalago is produced from estate grapes grown in Colbun.

Rafael Tirado planted the first vines in 1993: half a hectare of Cabernet Sauvignon. Today the winery cultivates five separate sections totaling 18 hectares of vineyards within their 80-hectare property. His vineyards are legally recognized to be located within the Colbun DO and currently is the only estate producer in the DO. The soils are composed of granite and volcanic ash, and the vineyards are located at approximately 1,800 feet altitude. One of the vineyards is planted in the shape of a circular labyrinth (laberinto). The Vistalago labels showcase the Minotaur who guards the labyrinth. The winery produces stunning expressions of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and a Bordeaux blend.

Social Media
Laberinto Facebook
Twitter: @laberintowines
Instagram: @laberintowines

Vinous 3/12/2020
"Rafael Tirado is a winemaker who established his own winery in a new terroir in the southern region of Maule, by the Andes, planting labyrinthine vineyards by the Colbún Lake on volcanic soils. His wines reflect this cold, austere area. Particularly the Sauvignon Blanc Laberinto."


Wine Advocate 2/28/2020
"Rafael Tirado produces one of the best Sauvignon Blancs from Chile, though it is often overlooked because it sells at a very low price."

Reviews

  • Rafael Tirado 2019 'Laberinto' Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Maule Valley
    Vinous
    Rating: 94+ (2/28/2020)

    2019 was a milder year than 2018, and the 2019 Cenizas de Laberinto Sauvignon Blanc is marginally more civilized than the 2018 I tasted next to it. It was kept with the lees in the fermentation vessel for some eight months. Even so, in this part of much cooler Maule, the differences between vintages tend to be more subtle, and 2019 is not a warm vintage, just less cold. Perhaps the wine is a little rounder, more citrusy than herbal and surprisingly has lower alcohol than the 2018 I tasted next to it. It has terrific balance on the palate, with acidity that still makes you salivate and is effervescent but perhaps not as sharp as colder years. It's a balanced vintage, and the wine feels very complete and precise. He has moved from screwcap to natural cork in 2019, as he thinks it will result in higher complexity as the wine ages in bottle. Bravo!
  • Rafael Tirado 2019 'Laberinto' Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Maule Valley
    Vinous
    Rating: 92 (3/13/2020)

    This Sauvignon Blanc from Colbún in the Maule Andes has a bold, compact, grassy flavor ranging from peas to cabbage with lime and pink grapefruit. Neutral on the palate with solid freshness, the well-judged lees-work lends it fat in the mouth and tamps down the tension. Lingers energetically on the gums.
  • Rafael Tirado 2019 'Vistalago' Mezcla Blanca, Maule Valley
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 93 (2/28/2020)

    The 2019 Vistalago Mezcla Blanca white blend is composed of 65% Riesling and 20% Chardonnay with 15% Semillon (it used to have Torontel instead of Semillon). 2019 was a cool year in the zone, where the nights are very cold. All of these wines have moderate alcohol (around 12.5%) and remarkable acidity. It fermented with native yeasts in concrete, where it was kept with the lees for eight months. The switch from Torontel to Semillon has made the wine more serious, less floral and a little closed, but it has gained in the palate. Semillon is a grape that has a lot more acidity than Torontel and provides more grip on the palate, and with time, the nose also shows its character of waxy apples. Riesling is the backbone but does not dominate the aromatics, which is unusual, as it's a grape that tends to mark blends. Now all of the grapes are from the estate vineyards; in the past, the Torontel was purchased from a coastal zone close to San Javier. A really interesting white blend.
  • Rafael Tirado 2019 'Vistalago' Mezcla Blanca, Maule Valley
    Vinous
    Rating: 90 (3/13/2020)

    A blend of 64% Riesling, 20% Chardonnay and 16% Semillón from Colbún in the Maule Andes, the nose is complex, featuring yeast, pear, mango and honey. Fleshy with contrasting tension between the high acidity and terse texture. Fragrant and unusual.