Escrito por James Suckling 7 de julio de 2015
Texting Report: More Great, fresh wines from Chile
Chile is all about a diversity of fine wines and excellence in quality for the money - at least at the top end. It also delivers incredibly drinkable cool climate wines that show you their uniqueness and geography with every sip. "Chile has the diversity of regions and people," says Aurelio Montes, one of the leading lights in fine winemaking in Chile. "It is, indeed, very exciting." Yes. But it's a shame that Chile for the most part still defines itself on making good quality reds and whites for the lowest price possible as fodder for supermarkets and discount stores. This of course is an impressive strength in any market, especially in such places as the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. But I think that Chile deserves better recognition, especially with what is coming out in the market this year.
A few months ago, I spent a week in Chile, mostly Santiago and its nearby wine regions, tasting more than 500 wines from dozens of the best producers. It was my third trip to the capital of Chile in 13 months. I believe in Chile as a world class wine producer - just like Argentina, where I went before the Santiago trip. Chile now produces what has to be the best quality wines for the money. And I am not talking about supermarket and discount chain store fodder. I am talking about top-of-the-line wines. Chile makes wonderfully drinkable, complex and fresh wines that taste like $60 or $80 a bottle but actually cost $20 or $30. I tasted dozens of wines that fit the bill - just to name a few: a new pinot noir from Ritual called Monster (95 points) that is everything but monstrous, showing incredible finesse and complexity, and should sell for around $30; a 2013 single vineyard chardonnay from Maycas del Limarí in Valle de Limarí (94 points) that shows power yet oozes freshness and minerality for less than $20 a bottle; and a soulful carignan from old head-pruned vines in Valle de Maule from Meli that shows stunning charisma and flavor.
Of course, there are more expensive wines and they are terrific quality. They compete with the best of Europe and California as well as Australia. Taste this year's release of Seña, 2013, and understand what I mean. It has all the depth of fruit, structure and intensity of a top wine from such prestigious producers as Mouton Rothschild or Harlan. Plus, Seña is made from biodynamically grown grapes, giving the wine an amazing underlying wholesomeness and holistic quality. Or get your hands on a bottle of 2009 Aristos Chardonnay Alto Cachapoal Duquesa d'A. This tastes like grand cru Burgundy from a great wine producer such as Lafon or Leflaive. It's layered, incredibly rich and powerful yet shows a brightness and freshness. One of the owners of the project is none other than the owner of the legendary biodynamic Burgundy estate of Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair. But the sweet spot for exciting wines is still in the $20 to $35 range. And it can be from just about anywhere up or down the Chilean coastline, whether a syrah from Valle de Colchagua or a Bordeaux blend with a touch of syrah from Valle de Maule. Check out the slightly more than 500 wines rated below. Let me know what you think.
CLOS ANDINO CABERNET SAUVIGNON PEUMO LA CUVÉE • COUNTRY Chile • REGION Cachapoal Valley • VINTAGE 2012 • SCORE 93 TASTING NOTES A very pretty and juicy character to this red with cassis, currant and tile undertone. Full body, round and silky tannins. This is a selection of the best barrels - only three. Small production of 1,500 bottles. Mostly cabernet sauvignon with some carmenere.
CLOS ANDINO CHARDONNAY VALLE DE CASABLANCA GRANDE RESERVE • COUNTRY Chile • REGION Aconcagua • VINTAGE 2011 • SCORE 92 TASTING NOTES A white with dried apple and light toasted oak. Dried pineapple too. Full body, fresh acidity. Subtle and long. So fresh and balanced. Drink now.
CLOS ANDINO PEUMO LE CARMENERE • COUNTRY Chile • REGION Cachapoal Valley • VINTAGE 2012 • SCORE 92 TASTING NOTES Very clean and fresh with hints of flowers and berry character. Full body, superfine tannins and a long finish. I really like the density and intensity. Lovely length. 85% carmenere with other varieties such as cabernet sauvignon. A firm and fresh interpretation of carmenere.