Chilean wines – Chile used to be notoriously famous for making value driven wines with a focus on quantity rather than quality. However, this was the image of maybe 30 years ago and today’s reality is a far echo of the past and below is a list of Chilean wines to try.
The road to quality started several years ago when Chilean producers decided to abandon the central plains and embrace the mountains. The move was started by its revolutionary and artisan producers but not too long after, the big players caught on. Fast forward to today’s Chile you can find pais based natural wines coexisting harmoniously with the traditional Bordeaux inspired blends.
Central to the gestation of a premium wine image for Chile was the arrival of Rhone based wines. Chile first Syrah debuted in 1995 and it was a sign of exciting times to come. The international wine community was not even aware that serious wine was being made in Elqui, a valley better known for its pisco (grape brandy), hippy communities and UFO sightings. Today there is not only Syrah in Elqui Valley but as well Colchagua, Apalta and Marchichue
Grenache ,Mourvèdre, as well as Carignan, and white Rhone grapes, like Roussanne, Marsanne and Viognier, are being employed in a greater number of blends as well.
Chile has a very big potential for producing Mediterranean style wines. Chile stills makes excellent Cabernet based wines but the new younger generation of wine drinkers are preferring the taste of Grenache, Mourvèdre and Carignan.
As for examples of this trend, some of the more premium wines and producers include Vina San Pedro who makes an stellar Syrah 1865 Limited Edition from the Elqui Valley or the Antu Rhone line of wines from Montgras.
Overall, Chile continues to develop a prosperous wine industry, and making more discoveries. In the past all the brands had a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Merlot, and all the regions had the same varieties, but now each producer and place in specialising in different things.
Recommended Chilean wines to try:
Intriga Cabernet Sauvignon 2016. SAQ # 11766520, $22.75
A phenomenal Cabernet from Montgras hailing from the Maipo Valley. A top notch bouquet reminiscent of leafy blackberry fruit, tobacco and cedar. Silky and refined with caressing tannins and a lingering finale recalling licorice and sun dried tomatoes. Chilean by origin but classified Bordeaux growth by spirit.
Tarapaca Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2016. SAQ # 13685483, $18.00
Dark blue fruit and slightly herbaceous with nuances of bittersweet chocolate and mocha A touch Virginia tobacco as well. On the mouth, noble with very fine tannins. Very long and racy in the mouth. A steal for the price it commands at the SAQ
Ninquén 2015. SAQ # 00928853, $27.95
From Montgras as well, an equal blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah from Colchagua Valley. It has lovely nose of cassis, black cherry with menthol and balsamic wines. Broad with muscular tannins, it has a charming oaky and cedary finale. A must buy for your braised beef dishes.
Wines to escape the winter and dream of summer days to come!
This winter does not seem to go away as fast as I would like and I find myself getting quite exasperated. However, wine has the power to transport us to sunnier destinations and provide relief to the mind. Here are three wine recommendations to make you feel like May has already arrived.
Château de Miraval Côtes de Provence 2017. SAQ # 12296988, $22.20
From the winery of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in Provence, France.An explosion of herbal and flower nuances with fruit undertones that bring to mind cantaloupe laced with cherry and raspberry. Delicate and perfumed on the palate with a crisp acidity and a finale that recalls lavender.
Giesen the Brothers Sauvignon Blanc 2016. SAQ # 13838734, $19.95
A textbook example of well made quality Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. Delicious and pretty aromas of pineapple, white peppercorns and green bell pepper. WIth aeration in the glass, noble notes of passion fruit and guava appear. On the palate, it is fresh and crisp with a long cleansing and digest finale.
Domaine Wach Riesling Andlau 2017. SAQ # 13921167, $25
The Riesling Andlau is made by the well known Quebecois sommelier Jessica Ouellet who presently lives in Alsace with her boyfriend, winemaker Pierre Wach.
Classic Riesling nuances that bring to mind flint and freshly squeezed lime. On the palate, dry almost saline with lots of citric fruit character. Round and very aromatic finale.
Marco Giovanetti – email@example.com