What do a Norwegian ship owner, a verdant Chilean valley, and sustainable farming have in common?
What did you think we were going to say? This is a wine blog, afterall.
More than 25 years ago, Norwegian Armador (that’s “ship owner” in case you were wondering) Dan Odfjell discovered the Maipo Valley in Chile. Well, not discovered in the Viking explorer sense; he found it for himself. Dan fell in love with this little corner of the planet, far from home both in distance and climate. He settled in the valley, and began pursuing his passion for wine.
Today, sons Laurence and Dan Jr. are at the helm, managing 284 acres of 100% certified organic and biodynamic vineyards in the heart of the Chilean wine country. They carry on the family mission of producing unique quality wines in a sustainable way.
Recently, we were given the opportunity to experience their craft. Odfjell Premium Organic Wines are offered in three different tiers, with labels representing Land, Water, and Fire. We were fortunate to receive samples of each.
The following wines were provided as a media samples for review. All reviews, descriptions, and opinions are our own. We received no additional compensation.
I really don’t know what happened to our photos. Sorry, but it’s your loss. The marinated flat iron steak was delicious with this Cabernet!
2016 Odfjell Armador Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP $15)
From the website: In the bygone days of sailing ships, wine was the drink of choice on long voyages. Today Dan Odfjell, a Norwegian shipowner, perpetuates his legacy by making wines to sail from Chile across the seven seas.
Winemaker’s Tasting Notes: Ruby-red in color with a hint of violet. Red-fruit aromas recall strawberries and plums, along with notes of licorice and anise. Perfectly balanced on the palate with ripe tannins and a long, refreshing nish.
Here’s what we thought:
Inky purple color in the glass. Aromas of blackberry, bramble, and cassis. On the palate, there are flavors of ripe blackberry, raspberry, bramble, black currant, and cherry, with oak, cedar, tobacco, and black pepper, with earthy notes mid-palate. Tannins are firm and chewy, balanced with bright acidity. Full bodied with a long, spicy finish of black fruit, earth, and smoke. Outstanding paired with balsamic marinated flat iron steak.
2017 Odfjell Orzada Carignan (SRP $23)
From the website: When the Norwegian shipowner Dan Odfjell founded our winery, he embarked upon adventure filled with challenge and promise. Orzada is a nautical term for sailing up against the wind before setting a direction. Our Orzada wines reflect our staking a course in pursuit of a beautiful and memorable wine.
Winemaker’s Tasting Notes: Dark red in color. Intense and complex on the nose, with spices and ripe red fruits such as cherries, raspberries, and plums mixed with aromas of blackberries and anise. The palate is juicy and powerful with velvety-soft tannins and a long finish.
Now we’re talking!
Here’s what we thought:
Deep purple color with a brick rim. Aromas of fresh-picked cherry, oak wood, and spice. On the palate there are flavors of raspberry, boysenberry, tart cherry, licorice, cedar, and black pepper. Soft tannins, medium body, and bright, lively acidity. The finish is long, with red and black fruit, oak, and spice. We paired this with grilled, chili-rubbed pork chops and it really complemented the meal nicely.
2013 Odfjell Aliara (SRP $44)
From the website: In the age of sail ships, safe and healthy provisions were crucial for the success of the adventure. A “liara” was a tin cup measurement for the crew´s daily ration of wine. Our Aliara is an assemblage made in small and precios quantitites as a tribute to this tradition.
Winemaker’s Tasting Notes: Concentrated deep violet in color. The nose is attractive and intense with a range of aromas from the different varieties in the blend, including nuts such as hazelnuts, dates, and dried figs, as well as floral notes recalling jasmine and roses. The palate is sophisticated, intense, and juicy and complemented by chocolate, coffee, and tobacco leaves. The finish is long with ripe and velvety tannins. An unforgettable experience.
That’s some dark, inky wine.
Here’s what we thought:
A blend of 65% Carignan, 20% Syrah, and 5% Malbec. Deep, inky purple color. Aromas of blackberry bramble and plum. On the palate, flavors of blackberry, cherry, blueberry, and plum, with white pepper and cedar. Tannins are big and chewy. Medium acidity. Long finish of black fruit and black pepper. Outstanding with spice-rubbed grilled steak tacos.
The Odfjell is doing some remarkable things with organic, biodynamic wines in Chile. If you get the opportunity to try these wines, don’t let it pass you by!
- By Kent Reynolds
- Creative Inspiration by Robyn Raphael