Fine Chilean wine for a special occasion?
October 2, 2016
Looking to splash out on a fine Chilean wine for a special occasion? I recently went along to a premium winetasting event organized by Vinoteca at the Sheraton Miramar in Viña del Mar. The following wines were among the highlights.
Old vine Malbec from a vineyard planted in 1945.
Deep ruby wine with a pronounced and complex nose with lots of black and red fruit, herbal and floral notes and a touch of coffee. . Big in every sense, this wine is full-bodied with lots of grippy tannins, fresh acidity and packed with flavour, including fruit and tobacco. This is a wine to go with hefty meals, such as red meat or cheese-based dishes.
Viña Santa Ema Amplus One Carmenère 2013, Peumo in Cachapoal Valley. 14% ABV (Retails in Chile at $14,990, in the UK available from Pioneer Wines at £14.00)
75% Carmenere, 20% Syrah, 5% Carignan. 12-14 months’ oak-ageing.
A complex and very perfumed nose featuring black fruit, like blackcurrants and blackberries, the classic Carmenère herbaceous notes of green pepper and chilli pepper, together with a floral note and then all the aromas from the oak-ageing, such as chocolate, coffee and leather. High acidity, high, grippy tannins, plenty of body and a long finish. The palate is very fruity with cigarbox notes. This is a big wine that will hold its own with big meals – barbecued meat, curry or dishes using strongly flavoured cheese.
Casas Patronales Maucho Carignan 2013, Cauquenes, Maule Valley. 14.5% ABV (Retails in Chile at $6,490)
8-10 months of ageing in 2nd use barrels.
Very nice. Deep purple wine with a pronounced nose of red fruit, together with some mineral and herbal notes, such as liquorice and chocolate from the oak-ageing. With high acidity, lots of smooth, ripe tannins and plenty of body, this fruity, mineral wine has a nice, long finish. A good choice for red meat or tomato-based pasta dishes.
Field Blend resulting from the combination of different varieties (Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère) randomly distributed across a 60 year-old vineyard. 12 months’ ageing in neutral oak.
A very pleasant fresh, fruity wine with smooth, ripe tannins, this wine can be enjoyed on its own or will pair with a wide range of dishes.
Viña Santa Carolina VSC 2009, 14.7% ABV. (Retails in Chile at $24,900)
Petit Verdot, Petit Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Malbec. 12 months’ oak ageing.
Deep ruby in colour, this wine had a complex nose of red and black fruit, intermingled with spice, floral notes of violets and dark chocolate. High acidity, pronounced, grippy tannins and fully body. In the mouth, this wine is packed with fruit and cigarbox flavours. Fairly long finish. Enjoy this with a full-flavoured meal.
J. Bouchon Canto Sur 2015, Maule Valley. 13.4% ABV. (Retails in Chile at $6,990 and in the UK from Hawkshead Wines at £11.95)
54% Carmenère, 23% Carignan, 23% País. No oak ageing.
A bit shy to start, then opened out with red fruit aromas and a touch of spice. A fresh and fruity wine, light-bodied by Carmenère standards. This is a food-friendly wine that can be paired with a wide range of dishes or enjoyed on its own.
Most of these wines are available in Chile from Vinoteca – see their website.