Besoain Wines: A Portrait of Chilean Winemaking Excellence

In the dry landscape of Chile’s Maipo Valley, the humble and prestigious winemaker Miguel Besoain crafts award-winning wines that express the terroir of his central Chilean homeland. He creates three different wine labels in this unique and beautiful wine-growing region: Besoain Estate, Besoain, and Los Morros. 

He uses traditional Burgundian winemaking techniques, such as hand harvesting, aging on lees, barrel fermentation, and selection of site-specific wines. The operation is on a small scale. He is actively involved in every step of the production process year-round from start to finish, including the viticulture, which includes careful monitoring of the spring budding to the final bottling of the wine.  The primary focus is centered on creating products of quality through the use of sustainable methods. 

This attention to detail makes the estate’s wines some of the most prized in Chile. Each label features wines that are made to express the fruit, the soil, and the winemaking talent of Central Chile. 

The Foundations of a Winery

Originally from Chile, Miguel studied forestry before moving to France and had a complete career change.  He decided to study winemaking and received his degree in oenology in 2003 from the Uniuversité de Bourgogne in Dijon France. 

After graduation, he remained in Europe gaining valuable hands-on experience by working at acclaimed estates in France and Germany learning the old traditional winemaking styles from some of Europe’s finest winemakers. 

In 2009, Miguel driven by his passionate vision to revitalize the family vineyards and produce exceptional wines, returned to his native Chile.  In 2010, along with his wife Alexandra, and their children, they returned to his childhood home to fulfill this dream. He took over the care of his father’s vineyards in the dry sun-soaked wine region of the Maipo Valley, just 30 kilometers south of Chile’s bustling capital of Santiago where in 1989, his father planted the first rows of vines above the Maipo River, that flows from the snowcapped Andes Mountains to the coastal town of Llolleo. Along this elevated riverside terrain grow rows of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère, and smaller amounts of other varieties, such as Petit Verdot. 

The Wines and Terroir of Besoain 

The Maipo Valley has a special terroir which is expressed in the wines that come from it. The valley receives just under 230 millimeters of rain annually and sits just over 600 meters above sea level in permeable clay and sand soils. The intense sun beats down on the grapes throughout the growing season, giving the fruit plenty of energy and heat to ripen. Cool breezes from the towering Andes Mountains, which rise to a majestic 3500 meters, ventilate the vines at night, keeping grape-eating insects at bay. 

This is the perfect climate for growing grapes and Besoain produces wines that express the Maipo Valley’s unique terroir. The grapes are harvested by hand when they have achieved optimal ripeness. Once harvested, the grapes are crushed and fermented in stainless steel tanks. The red wines are aged in carefully selected French oak barrels. 

Three different wine ranges are produced. The flagship label is Besoain Estate. These wines are made to express the Maipo Valley’s terroir and are made using delicate French winemaking techniques. What comes out of this care and attention to the grapes creates wines that are all age-worthy and infinitely complex. 

His other labels are Besoain and Los Morros. The wines are made from grapes that are all hand-harvested on sites selected by Besoain himself. Los Morros’ wines are young and fresh. They are made to express the local terroir at a reasonable price point. 

Besoain Cabernet Sauvignon

With the highest quality Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from his vineyard in the commune of Pirque (Chile), Besoain crafts a traditional French-style Cabernet Sauvignon wine. He ages the wine in hand-selected and toasted French oak barrels for 20 months, adding a beautiful bouquet of secondary and tertiary aromas such as tobacco and flowers to the wines. There are delicious primary aromas of blueberries, cherries, and chocolate. This special wine reflects the high-quality grapes Besoain grows in his vineyard and his expert winemaking techniques. Besoain Cabernet Sauvignon is a great food pairing with steak cooked over an open fire with roasted potatoes and chimichurri sauce.

Besoain Carménère

For the Besoain label, only the finest grapes from several carefully selected vineyard sites are used. This award-winning Carménère from El Escorial, Maipo Valley (Chile) has low acidity and beautiful tannins giving the wine structure and great aging potential Aromas of light cinnamon, maqui, melted vanilla, and licorice dance with black fruit and wild berries on the smooth and silky palate. After going through malolactic fermentation, the wine is aged in second-use barrels to allow it to express its fruit-forward characteristics. Besoain Carménère is the perfect pairing partner with a rich Spaghetti Bolognese.

Los Morros Carménère

This complex and fruit-forward wine bursts with black fruit and mild peppery aromas on the nose.  It comes from the Central Valley (Chile). Carménère and other Bordeaux varieties arrived in Chile in the mid-19th century. For centuries, people thought it was Merlot until genetic testing revealed that some of the country’s top grape plantations were the rare grape Carménère. It is an affordable and brilliant expression of this unique grape. Los Morros Carménère pairs magically with pork cutlets and oven-roasted vegetables. 

Los Morros Cabernet Sauvignon

Los Morros Cabernet Sauvignon from the Central Valley (Chile) is a wonderful expression of Besoain’s dedication to precise winemaking. The nose is bursting with delicious red fruit and strawberry jam aromas. The wine has powerful tannins and secondary aromas of chocolate and white pepper on the palate. The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are macerated for five days and then fermented for 20 days in stainless steel tanks.  The wine is then aged in French Oak barrels for 12 months. Barbecued beef ribs and mushroom risotto pair perfectly with Los Morros Cabernet Sauvignon.

Los Morros Sauvignon Blanc

This Sauvignon Blanc from Central Valley (Chile) is bursting with refreshing acidity and tropical fruit aromas of peach and pineapple, followed by lychee, banana, and grapefruit on the palate.  It has a beautiful light straw color. The Sauvignon Blanc grapes are selected with a perfect blend of acidity and sugars in the fruit. Fermentation is carried out in stainless steel tanks where the wine matures with its yeasts. Los Morros Sauvignon Blanc is best paired with oven-roasted Chilean sea bass or Thai curry.

Besoain Riesling

This refreshing and delicious Riesling is made from hand-harvested grapes that are sourced from 20-year-old vineyards in Lo Ovalle, Casablanca Valley (Chile). The grapes undergo a closed pneumatic pressing and are fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. The wine has bright acidity and aromas of lemon blossoms and apricots. On the palate are pleasant nuances of soft honey and pineapple. Besoain Riesling is a crisp and expressive wine that pairs wonderfully with sushi, oysters, or even pasta with cream sauce.

Besoain Pinot Noir

This elegant Pinot Noir is made from hand-harvested grapes from the 18-year-old vineyards in Ovalle, Limari Valley (Chile). The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks followed by malolactic fermentation and aging in French oak barrels for 10 months. The nose is filled with aromas of raspberries and blackberries, followed by secondary aromas of wood and cloves. It is a shimmering ruby color with balanced acidity and silky tannins on the palate, making it perfect for further bottle aging. Besoain Pinot Noir is a savory yet gentle wine that pairs with Beef Wellington or rich pasta with truffles.

Los Morros Rosé

Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, this delightful rosé from the Central Valley (Chile) is bright and delicious. It has a pink color and aromas of tangerines, apples, and roses. The palate is lively with fresh peaches and a long and refreshing finish. It is fermented in stainless steel tanks and left to mature on its fine lees for three months. Besoian forgoes malolactic fermentation to preserve the wine’s fruit on the nose. Los Morros Rosé pairs wonderfully with fresh garden salads and light vegetable dishes.

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