The "LOTA" project was born at the beginning of 2003, when the Cousiño family decided to create a world-class wine to celebrate its 150th anniversary. Lota brings together the industrial beginnings of the family: coal mining and viticulture. Both, originated in the nineteenth century, were the starting point of the great legacies of this family. Lota combines tradition, family history and elegance, characteristic of Cousiño Macul wines, with the cohesion of a wine group that seeks excellence as a guide.
This wine pairs very well with complex and gentle preparations like Fillet filled with gorgonzola cheese or Wagyú spiced cuts on the grill accompanied by mushroom risotto or mashed sweet potatoes. Also, excellent companion for eggplant lasagna as a vegetarian option.
Good rainfalls during winter, low temperatures on spring and a dry summer marked the 2010-2011 seasons. This led to a low grape yield; with very healthy fruit and an excellent maturity. We started the harvest of the red varieties in April – slightly later than on normal years. The red wines are correct in their fruit, harmonious and structured, with soft tannins.
This wine comes from the oldest Cabernet (1932) and best Merlot of Cousiño Macul vineyards. They are the result of a special selection of our own best vines, keeping the same unique DNA material brought from France in the 1860s by Don Luis Cousiño, before the plague phylloxera attacked European vineyards. These vineyards are planted in Macul Estate at the foot of the Andes, 600 m above sea level on a loamy soil with some clay and very strong presence of rocks. They are fully adapted to these conditions without the need of much management, only traditional flooding irrigation and some pruning. With a natural yield of around 4 tons per hectare we obtain a very high quality and concentrated fruit which allows us to start the winemaking process with very high expectations every year.
Bunches were selected and handpicked in 10 kg boxes. Once in the cellar, a manual bunch and single grape selection took place. After 7 days of cold maceration at 7°C (45°F), the alcoholic fermentation started, lasting 9 to 12 days at an average temperature of 25°C (77°F) for Merlot, and 27°C (81°F) for Cabernet Sauvignon. Pump overs were done only by gravity 3 to 4 times a day during the alcoholic fermentation. The post fermentative maceration took from 12 to 18 days. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot were transferred separately to barrels, where they stood for several months completing the malolactic fermentation while the technical team evaluated them, as only the exceptional ones became part of the Lota blend. The mixture aged for 15-18 months in new French oak barrels. After this period, it is bottled directly without any filtration, and continued evolving for at least 3 more years in our cellar.
Lota 2011 has a deep, bright and intense red-brickish color that shows it´s evolution. It´s aromas are very frutal, reminding us to cherries and fresh plums at the beginning, then giving way to earthy notes, pepper, vanilla, caramel and toasted nutmeg. In mouth it´s gentle, elegant and intense at the same time. Tannins are very present and soft; the fruit characteristics are confirmed and the experience is enhanced by a very rich acidity for a long time.