The other day I attended the Wines of Chile Annual Trade Tasting and I was very impressed by many of the wines on show. There were far too many just to taste them all, so I decided to concentrate on the newer areas that are only just beginning to make their presence felt on the UK market.
This boiled down to the Limari Valley in the north, the San Antonio Valley near Valparaisso, together with the nearby Aconcagua Costa from Errazuriz and a few other wines that caught my eye as I went around.
A couple of the interesting wines that grabbed my attention were:
San Rafael Estate, Maule
The beautiful, intense red colour led to a fragrant nose of ripe red fruit and a palate that is fresh and juicy with a delicate spice notes, a touch of acidity to keep it fresh and nicely balanced oak.
This is a lovely, simple, well made enjoyable wine, that is just bursting with lovely fruit – highly recommended as a superior everyday kind of wine.
They also produce a very well balanced Syrah-Cabernet Rosé that is quite delicious. The company that makes these wines is called Via and they are available through www.bibendum-wine.co.uk.
Cono Sur Sparkling Brut non-vintage
Bío Bío Valley
Most of the new and exciting cool regions are in the North of the grape growing regions, Bío Bío is the exception and is some 200 miles or so south of Maule, where the cool climate coaxes wonderful flavours out of delicate, cool climate grapes.
This sparkling wine is terrific and finally proves that you can get great results from the Cuvé Close method, it doesn’t all have to be made like Champagne!
This is 95% Chardonnay together with 1% Pinot Noir, these 2 give the depth and the acidity while 4% Riesling does wonders for the nose giving it an enticing aromatic lift that will appeal to anyone who likes a good Prosecco, but does not want that soft, almost sweet character of Prosecco.
Available from Morrissons @ £9.99.
I will be posting lots more about Chilean wines very soon…