Wines of Chile 2013

 

Chilean wines – the thoughts that enter one’s mind are: value, full-bodied reds and vegetal Carmeneres. At this year’s tasting, I’ve affirmed the first two, but have learned that vegetal Carmeneres are no longer in style. I rather enjoy the green, vegetal notes that Carmenere is known and (by me) so revered for, but sadly, as sale statistics don’t lie, it seems that fellow Ontarians don’t feel the same way. None-the-less, I’ve tried quite a few wines and documented my overall experience together with the wine reviews herein.
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The ‘Wines of Chile’ is an annual tasting that this year was held again at the Royal Ontario Museum’s Bronfman Hall in downtown Toronto. As most large-scale trade tastings, this event was organized into three components – structured seminar for 30-50 people, trade and media tasting and a public tasting.

 

Trade seminar and tasting.
This year’s seminar focused on discussing sustainability and how it relates to consumer appeal, cost and taste. In the context of Chilean wine industry, specifically the production process, the term sustainability encompasses environmental friendliness, social responsibility and economical viability. Wineries that achieve such status can label their wines with ‘Accredited Sustainable-Wine of Chile’ seal, an achievement that is to be noticed by Ontario consumers – a market consuming 43% of Chilean wines, translating into 11.35 million bottles and bringing $107 million dollars back into the Chilean economy.
This certification was launched in 2010, so though certified, not all wines yet carry the label. Today, 27 out of 203 Chilean wineries, from the 14 recognized appellations, bare the Sustainable certification and currently there are 5 more wineries undergoing the process. The list of certified wineries can be found at http://sustentavid.org .

 

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The six featured wines that were individually showcased by the winery’s delegates and that were chosen from the 27 sustainable-certified wineries to highlight the country’s main varietal exports, are reviewed below.

 

Errázuriz Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2012 The 2012 Errázuriz Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc has intense aromas of subtle leechie, passion fruit, pineapple and light vegetal and floral notes. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine, with forward acidity and a medium finish. It is food friendly, drink now-2017. My impression: NICE, 89 pts – recommended for its quality.
Score 89 pts. Chile $21.95 Vintages # 143198
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2012 Ventisquero Grey Chardonnay The 2012 Ventisquero Grey Chardonnay, made with grapes harvested from 13-year-old vines that were then fermented and aged in French Oak for 12 months, has atypical (for Chardonnay) intense aromas of green, tropical fruit, light butteriness and light pear. It is a medium to full-bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine, with forward acidity (tad on the acidic side) and a long vanilla finish. It is food friendly or can be sipped on its own; drink now-2020. My impression: NICE, 89 pts – atypical, tropical-fruit flavored Chardonnay though well made and recommended.
Score 89 pts. Chile $19.95 Available through consignment – RKT wine imports.
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lien2005 The 2011 Maquis Carmenere has intense aromas of smoke, oak, prune, dates, light notes of dark chocolate and earthiness. It is a full-bodied, extra-dry, fruity to integrated wine, with checked acidity, refined tannins (decant for 30 min) and a long, hot, chalky and smooth finish. Drink as a sipper; drink now – 2016. My impression: NICE, 89 pts.
Score 89 pts. Chile $19.95
Available through consignment – Don Ackerman Wine & Spirits
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2010 Emiliana Coyam The 2010 Emiliana Coyam is composed of 38% Syrah, 27% Carmenere, 21% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Mourvedre and 1% Petit Verdot that was oak aged for 13 months in 80% French and 20% American Oaks. It has intense notes of smoke, prune, dark chocolate, eucalyptus, blackberry, black currant and vanilla. It is a full-bodied, extra-dry, fruity to integrated wine, with good acidity, refined tannins (decant for 30 min) and a long, tongue coating, silky finish. Drink on its own, though ready now, cellaring for 2+ years will enhance the wine – drink now to 2020+. My impression: NICE to BEAUTIFUL, 90 pts (+1-2 evolution potential) – recommended for its quality.
Awards: Gold Medal in 10th Annual Wines of Chile Awards
Score 90 pts (+1-2 ep). Chile $29.95
Future Vintages # 649679; PMA Canada
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Chilcas Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 The 2009 Chilcas Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in French Oak for 8 months, has intense aromas of eucalyptus, pomegranate, milky blackberry, oak, clove and light vanilla. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity to integrated wine, with good acidity, grippy tannins (decant for 30-60 min) and a long and silky finish. It is food friendly as well as a sipper; drink now and for the next 10 years. My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 91 pts (+1 evolution potential) – highly recommended for its quality and value.
Score 91 pts (+1 ep). Chile $17.95 Vintages # 309757
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6-NATIVAThe 2009 Carmen Nativa Single Vineyard Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, composed of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Carmenère that was aged in French oak for 10 months, has intense aromas of eucalyptus, blackberry, blackcurrant, oak and vanilla. It is a medium to full-bodied, extra-dry, fruity to integrated wine, with good acidity, chalky mouth feel, refined tannins (decant for 30 min) and a long, silky finish. It is a sipping wine, though can be enjoyed with food; drink now till 2020 – will benefit from more cellaring. My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 91 pts (+1 evolution potential) – recommended for quality and taste.
Score 91 pts (+1 ep). Chile $19.95
Future Vintages # 975359; Charton Hobbs
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Walkabout Tasting.
This year, 21 wineries participated and together featured around 120+ wines. The length of time allocated for the walkabout tasting was three hours and given the constraints (mingling & conversing), I was able to taste and fully review 6 + 13 wines in total. These are listed below.

 

The 2010 Perez Cruz Quelen Petit Verdot Carmenere has intense aromas of green pepper, red currant, blackberry and black cherry. It is a full-bodied, extra-dry, fruity to integrated wine; balanced with forward acidity, refined tannins and a long and silky finish. This is a sipper; drink now-2020. My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 92 pts – recommended mainly for its quality as it is rather on the expensive side.

Score 92 pts. $49.00 Vintages # 228437 listed is 2006 vintage.
The 2008 Ventisquero Vertice is composed of 51% Carmenere and 49% Syrah that was aged in French oak barrels for 20 months. It has intense aromas of toasted wood, charcoal, smoke, leather, vanilla and black fruit. It is a medium to full-bodied, extra-dry, fruity to integrated wine, balanced with good acidity, refined tannins and a long finish. Enjoy on its own; drink now – 2020+. My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 92 pts – recommended for its quality.

Score 92 pts. $29.95 available from RKW agency only.
The 2011 Ventisquero Grey Single Block Carmenère , aged in French Oak for 18 months, has intense aromas of toasted oak, blackberry, black cherry, vanilla and light eucalyptus. It is a full-bodied, dry, fruity to integrated wine; balanced with good acidity, forward tannins (decant for 30 min), chalky mouthfeel and a long finish. Drink with food or enjoy on its own; drink now – 2018+. My impression: BEAUTIFUL, 91 pts – recommended for its quality and value.

Score 91 pts. $19.95 Vintages # 325415 currently LCBO sells the 2010 vintage.
The 2010 Carmen Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon , aged in French oak for 10 months, has intense aromas of prune, oak, light earthiness and vanilla. It is a full-bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine, with forward acidity, chalky mouthfeel, refined tannins and a long, smooth finish. Drink as a sipper; drink now to 2018+. My impression: NICE to BEAUTIFUL, 90 pts – recommended mainly for quality though the value is great.

Score 90 pts. $16.95 LCBO # 358309
The 2009 Carmen Gran Reserva (100%) Syrah, which was aged for 10 months in 60% French and 40% American oak barrels, has intense aromas of eucalyptus, stewed prunes, vanilla and oak. It is a full to thick bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; balanced – with checked acidity, chalky mouthfeel, refined tannins (decant for 15 min) and a long finish. This one is a sipper: drink now or cellar till 2020+ as it has an evolution potential of +1 or 2 pts. My impression: NICE to BEAUTIFUL, 89-90 pts (+1 or 2) – recommended for its quality and value.

Score 89-90 (+1 or +2) pts. $17.95 Vintages # 301903
The 2011 Carmen Gran Reserva (100%) Carmenère , aged in French oak for 10 months, has appealing aromas of green pepper, yeasty red currant, pomegranate and black cherry. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine, with forward acidity, refined tannins and a medium finish. It is a food friendly wine; drink for the next 5+ years. My impression: NICE, 89 pts.

Score 89 pts. $17.95 Vintages # 439166
The 2012 Ventisquero Root I Carmenere , has appealing notes of blackberry and vanilla. It is a medium bodied, dry, fruity wine, with good acidity, refined tannins (decant for 15 min) and a medium finish. Drink with food; drink now – 2016. My impression: NICE, 88-89 pts – recommended for its quality and value.

Score 88-89 pts. $12.95 will be available in the General Section January 2014.
The 2011 Concha Y Toro Marques De Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon , aged in French Oak barrels for 18 months, is nicely aromatic with blackberry, black cherry as well as woody/light vanilla notes. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity to integrated wine, with forward acidity, refined tannins (decant for 60 min) and a medium to long and smooth finish. Drink with food or sip on its own; drink now till 2018+. My impression: NICE, 88+ pts – the wine was closed and would benefit from longer decanting.

Score 88+ pts. $21.95 Vintages # 337238
The 2010 Chilensis Lazuli is composed of 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Malbec, 16% Petit Verdot, 10% Merlot, 9% Syrah and 8% Carmenére that was aged for 12-14 months in 70/30% French/American Oak. It has intense aromas of vanilla, black fruit and subtle leather. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry/dry, fruity wine, with checked acidity, grippy tannins (decant for 30+ min) and a long vanilla finish. Enjoy on-its-own; drink now – 2020. The wine I tasted unfortunately had a light cork taint and though I was able to structurally asses it, the above-mentioned complexity is only a subset of what this blend should have – still my impression: NICE, score at least 88 pts.

Score 88+ pts. $17.95 Vintages # 348128
The 2012 Terraustral PKNT Carmenere has intense aromas of eucalyptus, blackberry and stewed black fruits. It is a full-bodied, dry, fruity wine, with good acidity, refined tannins and a medium, chalky finish. Drink with food; drink now – 2016. My impression: NICE, 88 pts – recommended for its value.

Score 88 pts. $10.95 LCBO # 191858
The 2012 Chilensis Reserva Carmenère has intense aromas of eucalyptus and black berry. It is a medium to full-bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine, with checked acidity, refined tannins and a medium finish. Drink with food or enjoy on its own; drink now-2016. My impression: NICE, 88 pts – recommended for its quality; Chilensis has long been on my list of high quality value wines.

Score 88 pts. $13.95 LCBO # 657981
The 2011 Emiliana Adobe Reserva Merlot has appealing aromas of earthy, stewed, red currant, blackberry and blueberry. It is a full-bodied, dry, fruity wine, with forward acidity, refined tannins and a medium finish. It is food friendly; drink now – 2016. My impression: NOTHING SPECIAL, 87 pts.

Score 87 pts. $12.95 LCBO # 322024
The 2012 San Pedro 35° South Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot has appealing aromas of earthy dark red fruit. It is a medium bodied, extra-dry, fruity wine; unbalanced with somewhat lacking acidity, pronounced tannins and a medium finish. Drink with food; 2015 to 2018 (screw cap enclosure). My impression: NOTHING SPECIAL, 86-87 pts.

Score 86-87 pts. $12.95 LCBO # 218859
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For other EVENTS in the wine country or in Toronto, please link here.

 

 

This event was organized by ‘Wines of Chile’, a local organization that is supported by Chilean’s Trade Commission ‘ProChile’, which is a part of Chile’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 

My thanks to Wines of Chile for the invitation.
http://www.winesofchile.org/

 

 

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