Top 10 Chilean Wines
You’ll not only spot the earth’s driest place, large active volcanoes and the world’s largest swimming pool in Chile but also sample some topnotch wines. Of the top 10 wine producing and exporting countries in the world, Chile occupies the 9th and 5th positions respectively. The winemaking tradition in the South American country goes back to 1554 Spanish conquistadores cultivated grapevines for the first time.
The Chilean vineyards’ topography is somewhat similar to Californian vineyards and extends to more than 1,600 km. The cool climes bordering the the Andean mountain slopes and the 4,200 km long coastline facilitate the cultivation of Bordeaux variety wine grapes. The subdivisions of Maule, Curico, Rapel, and Maipo produce the premium Bordeaux wine varieties like Merlot, Carmenere, Sauvignon, and Cabernet.
Aconcagua, Casablanca, Itata, and Bio-Bio have vineyards yielding grapes for fermenting some topnotch red and white wines like Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, and Pinot Noir. The viticulture valleys in Chile’s 14 chief wine growing regions produce over 10 million hectoliters of wine annually.
Carmenere Peumo Vineyard’s Block 27
The Block 27 is an uber-grade Chilean Carmenere distilled from grapes cultivated in Terrunyo vineyard owned by winemaking goliath, Concha Y Toro. Each and every vineyard block has its distinct wine grape variety that produces a specific Carmenere. Block 27 is majorly Carmenere with a hint of Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon that evens out the concoction’s flavors.
Terrunyo Carmenere appears deep red and exudes flavors of spices, plums, ripened red berries with subtle notes of tobacco. You get an aftertaste of strong fruity flavors layered with sweet tannins. Relish this topnotch Chilean Carmenere with cheesecake, roast duck, game meat, and tomato pasta.
Don Melchor by Concha y Toro
Don Melchor perfectly embodies the fact that Cabernet Sauvignons from Chile can compete with their French counterparts. Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon is the flagship wine of Concha y Toro-the largest wine distiller in Latin America. The grapes used for producing this wine come from the vines in Puente Alto Vineyards in Maipo Valley.
The wine sits in large French oak barrels for over 12 months, and contains roughly 5% Cabernet Franc. Don Melchor’s nose blends scents of cherry and dark plum with an elegant finish reminding you of minerals and forests. You also discern hints of a few herbs, iron, blood, and invigorating tobacco.
Kai by Errazuriz
Another premium Chilean Carmenere, Kai is prepared from grapes thriving in Panquehue’s Don Maximiano Estate. One of the most venerated of wineries in Chile, Vina Errazuriz has its vineyards in Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Andes Mountain range. Errazuriz’s Kai includes ferment from Carmenere grapes with a smattering of Petit Verdot and Syrah for maintaining balance.
Kai has a brick red color and the nose is a judicious combination of coffee beans, tobacco, black fruits, truffle-flavored nuts, leather, balsam, and ripe fruit. Pair this Carmenere with roast beef, game meat, and grilled fish with sides of soft cheese, and sautéed garlic.
Tatay de Christabal 1492 from Von Siebenthal Estate
Vina Von Siebenthal Estate produces the Tatay de Christabal 1492 which is indisputably one of Chile’s highly admired Carmenere. The wine which is aged for nearly two years in brand new French oak barrels contains approximately 10% Petit Verdot. Production is limited to 3,900 bottles of Tatay de Christabal every year and the wine comes from grapevines planted in Von Siebenthal Estate.
This Carmenere brand shares its name with the epic voyage undertaken by Christopher Columbus’ that led to serendipitous discovery of America. You’ll be able to distinguish strong notes of earthy minerals and blueberries in case if you’re lucky enough to source a bottle.
Vinedo Chadwick by Errazuriz
Vinedo Chadwick is Errazuriz signature wine offering and the Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere grapes come from the 32-hectare vineyard in Maipo. This red wine is principally Cabernet Sauvignon but imbued with proportions of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc for balancing. Vinedo Chadwick has a cherry red hue and while sipping this red wine, you can distinguish the flavors of cabernet sauvignon grapes layered with notes of black and red berries.
Leyda Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2018
The Sauvignon Blanc 2018 by Vina Leyda is one of the best white wines originating from Italy. This Sauvignon Blanc is a full bodied white wine that leaves behind a mild dry sweetness on the palate. You can clearly discern the aromas of currant leaves, passion fruit, green apples, and lemon. The Sauvignon nose is profound and delicate with scents of ripe citrus blending judiciously with traces of green chili peppers, and green lime.
Enjoy this classic white wine with spicy tiger prawns dipped in coriander salad and garlic.
Carmen Quijada #1 Semillon 2017
Chile scores brownie points for not only distilling premium quality Cabernet Sauvignons and Cabernet Francs, but top grade Semillons as well. The Carmen Quijada #1 Semillon 2017 is living proof of the above statement. Carmen Distillery sources the grapes for this white wine Colchagua Valley.
Quijada has a distinctive vibrant golden-yellow color and gives off whiffs of honey, citrus, almonds, and white flowers. The feel on the palate is creamy and full-bodied optimally rounded off with mild acerbity transferring freshness and vitality.
Morando One to One Estate Reserva Gewurztraminer 2018
The Reserva Gewurztraminer 2018 from Morando One to One Estate is a dry aromatic wine fermented from Gewurztraminer grapes. The grapes that go into this white wine come from vineyards in Aconcagua Casablanca Valley. This Gewurztraminer has essences of floral, passion fruit, and roses and has a strong body with traits of freshness and sweetness finely balanced out.
JA Jofre Vinos Frios del Ano Blanco 2017
Vinos Del Ano Blanco is JA Jofre’s flagship product and fermented from a blend of Sauvignon Vert and Semillon grapes. The wine following fermentation sits in barrels for 5 months lending to the spirit its unique golden color and nose of tannins. Your nostrils will pick up robust traces of pomelo, jasmine, and white cherry.
Vinos Frios Ano Blanco pairs well with roast chicken, herb-crusted poached salmon, and creamy chickpea soup.
A cent per cent Syrah, Montes’ Folly is distilled from grape vines in the steep slopes at Finca de Apalta. The harvest is extremely limited, about four tones to a hectare. The wine matures in new French oak casks for one-and-a-half year and is sufficient for filling about 9,000 bottles.
You smell notes of blackberries and blueberries with undertones of toast and chocolates. The finish lingers on and is remarkably pleasant. Montes’ Folly pairs best with game meat, cheese, charcuterie, lamb, and red meat.