When you hear the phrase “Chilean wine,” what words come to mind? Carménère? Don Melchor? For me, Chilean wine is synonymous with value. Chilean wines frequently have a high quality-to-price-ratio, and the level of diversity is impressive.
All these wines were received as trade samples and tasted blind.
2012 Casa Marin Gewürztraminer Cartagena “Lo Abarca” - Chile, San Antonio ValleySRP: $15
2012 Ventisquero Sauvignon Blanc Gran Reserva “Queulat” - Chile, Casablanca Valley
Light and clear yellow color. Smells really fresh, green apples, green melon, honeysuckle, but there’s also a distinct herbal note that reminds me of jalapeno and chives. Tart acid kicks off the palate, followed up by crisp green apple and pear skin flavors. That jalapeno and chive note mixes in with the fruit. It’s actually quite light in its approach, perhaps a little mild. The acid lingers with lemon zest on the finish. (85 points)
2011 Cultivate Chardonnay “Wonderlust” - Chile, Central Valley
Aromas of melon, green pear, honey and a note that reminds me of almond butter. Plump and ripe on the palate. The yellow apple and pear flavors mix with butter, honey, melon rind and almond. Creamy, but not overblown. This chardonnay doesn’t see any oak, and it’s blended with a “dash” of Moscatel. (84 points)
2011 Viu Manent Chardonnay Gran Reserva - Chile, Casablanca Valley
2012 Tabalí Viognier Reserva - Chile, Limarí Valley
2011 Cultivate “Copa Cobana” - Chile, Central Valley
2011 Ventisquero Pinot Noir Gran Reserva “Queulat” - Chile, Casablanca Valley
Clear ruby colored. Pretty aromas of cherries and raspberries, mixed with notes of rhubarb and sweet roses. Juicy cherry fruit leads the palate, with tangy acid and easy-drinking tannins. A bit lighter fresher in its approach, this Pinot Noir also shows some earth and mushroom notes, as well as some cola and cinnamon. Medium-length finish. The elements line up really well. Good stuff for the price. (88 points)