Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Report from ... Chilean Wine Festival – October 7, 2009

A walk around tasting with lots of good food and good wine to go with it. I noticed at this year’s event that plenty of wineries had an “Icon” wine or “Icon”-blend, this is usually a sign of a wine region coming of age, and also the sign of higher prices. While not always the best wine value on the table, some of these wines were very good. But Chile has always been known for their value and during my walk around tasting I was looking for wines that offered up bang for the buck (of which there were quite of few), but I was also looking for something that made you stand up and take notice. The problem with being a wildly successful region is that there are a lot of copycats on the block and wines start to taste the same … the key is to stray from the pack and make something uniquely your own and avoid the uniformity-trap. Below the wines I deemed worth their price and worth you taking them upon your palate for a change from the usual.

Anakena 2008 Single Vineyard Pinot Noir ($14.95) – excellent value for a wine with familiar character from an unfamiliar location for this grape. Earth, sour cherry, raspberry and strawberry notes with a nice spice on the finish. (****½)

Vina Ventisquero 2008 Reserva Shiraz ($13.95) – white pepper, red fruit, juicy flavours with tasty red raspberry and strawberry on the mid-palate to finish. (****½)

Vina Maipo 2006 Limited Edition Syrah ($29.95) – this one’s lovely from entry to exit; spiced red fruit and a peppery palate which leads to chocolate on the finish. (****½)

Cono Sur 2009 Viognier ($9.95) – great value for this peach, apple and tropical flavoured wine that can best be described as “yummy”. (****)

Carmen 2006 Reserve Carmenere/Cabernet Sauvignon ($16.90) – blueberry-blackberry and mint on the nose leads to juicy blackberries in the mouth. (****)

Botalcura 2007 El Delirio Reserve Syrah/Malbec ($13.95) – nice fruit though a touch brambly on the nose, blackberry with good spice on the palate. (****)

Best Icon …
Vina La Rosa 2004 OSSA Icon Red Blend ($164.95) – beautiful cherry jam nose, smooth with the right amount of grit, lots of red minty fruit, very lush. (****½)

No comments: