Sep 03 2010

Chile Forecast

Published by at 8:09 AM under Events,Wine Pairing,Wine Tastings

Chile, like its neighbor over the Andes, Argentina, has long been a discount darling of the wine world, especially in the U.S. market. Funny thing though: The winemaking has generally improved to world-class quality over the past few decades, but the prices have stayed low. That means you can enjoy a top bottle from one of Chile’s renowned growing regions—Bio Bio Valley, Maule Valley, Maipo Valley, and more—and rarely spend more than $20 in the process.

In addition to value, the variety of Chilean wines covers a wide spectrum befitting the range of territory the country occupies. From the floral minerality of its Sauvignon Blanc, to the soft, consistent flavor of its Carménère, to the muscular, robust power of its Cabernet Sauvignon (to name just a few) Chile is certainly not a one-grape pony.

If you’ve never tried a Chilean wine, or just want to compare its different varietals back-to-back, join us here at Just Grapes tomorrow, September 4, as we showcase Chilean wines during our free Saturday tasting from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. We’ll be opening/sampling these bottles, and more:

2008 Cono Sur Vision, Sauvignon Blanc, Casablanca Valley, Chile [$12.39]

The 2008 Sauvignon Blanc Vision has precision aromatics featuring mineral, citrus, and lemon-lime. Balanced, vibrant, and long, it is meant to be enjoyed over the next 12-18 months.

2008 Agustinos Chardonnay, Bio Bio Valley, Chile [$11.99]

Lean, bright golden-yellow in color with good fruit intensity on the nose and aromas of quince and pear with a bit of vanilla. The smooth palate shows a firm acidity that lends freshness and ends with a nice, long finish.

2007 Odfjell Armador, Carmenere, Maule Valley, Chile [$11.59]
Ruby-red. Cherry, dark berries and roasted coffee on the nose, with a subtle tobacco note adding complexity. Gently sweet red and dark berry flavors show good concentration and are framed by dusty tannins. Becomes livelier with air and finishes with good tangy cut. Very nicely balanced wine that will work well with lighter red meat dishes.

2008 Errazuriz “Don Maximiano Estate Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon, Aconcagua Valley, Chile [$15.99]

Phenomenal value from a remarkable producer. Errazuriz produces deeply extracted rich, spicy Cabernet Sauvignon. This single vineyard example shows notes of boysenberry and raspberry, with some Gnome’s Foot characteristics and a long finish. If this wine came out of California, you’d pay at least double the price, but since it isn’t you can enjoy it for under $20! – Joshua’s Staff Pick

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