Posts Tagged ‘Chile’

What I have here is another example of why Chile should not make wine.  The Errazuriz Estate is located in the town of Casablanca roughly 100km due west from the capitol of Santiago. The moderating influence of the southern Pacific Ocean provides a cool macro-climate while the Andes Mountains to the east ensure good rainfall.

The color is a strange green-tinged yellow with a serious scent of pineapple and durian.  On the palate of a Chardonnay, one would expect a very still, decent mouth-feel, often tropical flavors of papaya and passion fruit.  This vino has an obvious and pronounced crackling  sensation on the tongue that is decidedly harsh. Past that, a hint of banana flavor is followed by a sustained herbal finish reminiscent of tomato leaves.

A new release at LCBO/Vintages for ~$11/btl, there are many other tastier more varietally pleasing chardonnays out there in this price range.  A definite shock to the palate away from what a normal unoaked chardonnay is supposed to taste like.

~tbv

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**image credit – the winery.  Republished under Fair Use Provisions for Review and Critique.

A new release in the Vintages Section of my local LCBO came up with this impulse purchase.  Before you rang on me for going Chilean even when I’ve said before I’m off Chile for a while, this is a Reserva AND its a new release.

Unsolicited and greatly appreciated, a friend and avid reader of this meager vinoblog sent me a gift card to the LCBO.  I will not disclose its amount but suffice to say, the next few reviews may definitely be on the higher side of the “Moderate” category.

A pale yellow in color, there are decent scents of lime, green apple and a little fresh-cut grass.  The immediate flavor is light, lively & tangy with pear, honeysuckle and limestone.  The finish is heightened by the under-layer of minerality, leaving the palate clean and ready for another sip.

Affordable at ~$13/btl at the moment, this Maule Valley offering is not a bad wine at all for a Chilean vino.  I had this with garlic-steamed Rock Cod and a mushroom rice.  Would be good with wine-steamed mussels or possibly buttery shrimp scampi.

Cheers!

~tvb

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**images credit – Google Images search results and grabbed the first decent bottle portrait i could find.  Republished under Fair Use provisions for review and critique.

Six hours due south of the Calchagua Valley as the crow flies lies another cordilleran valley called San Javier. Directly descended from French migrants, the estate of the current Bouchon family produces a modest series of wines.

This very pale yellow Sauvignon Blanc has a nose of pineapple and urea. Its very light body carries a delicate spritzich on the tongue that gives the only hint of it actually being in my mouth.  In this vinoboy’s most humble opinion, there is no flavor to think of than to liken it to that gilded puddle left behind after a kitty who has just visited the litterbox. Though the label offers suggestions of lightly seasoned fish to linguine with clam sauce, I’m not sure I’d be willing to be that adventurous.

One hundred eleven years and still working on it.  They’ll get it eventually.

~tvb

On the other side of the Andes, to the west of Argentina is the country of Chile. As in my last post, I spoke about the rediscovery of original un-grafted pre-Blight French rootstock from all over the viticultural regions of France. Quite a few of these migrant plantation workers ended up in the Calchagua Valley.  The macro-climate is typical Mediterranean-esque and seasonal variations are minimal. There are a few areas of mass-production; there are also a few smaller estates.

This inexpensive wine has a moderate stone-fruit nose with hints of roasted coffee. The body is medium with a muddled palate that makes me feel like this Cab wants to be more than it actually is.  Its very alcohol evident, the tannins are overly strong and the finish lasts a little too long for comfort.

I had this with grill-fired flat-bread pepperoni & mozzarella pizza hoping the acidity of the wine would cleanse the oiliness of the pepperoni from the tongue.  It did that, surely, but the linger of the wine affected the taste of every other mouthful of pizza after that. 2009 was an exceptionally hot and dry season for this area of Chile, so some vines and fruit may have been more dehydrated than others.  That is one of the reasons I’m trying to stick to Reserva estate-grown Chilean and Argentine wines for the 2009 season. I guess the sorting and separating of the affected fruit wasn’t as careful as they’d hoped, in my opinion.  Still though, not a bad wine.

~tvb

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