I see only a light offering of Chilean wine in Australia. Neither a benchmark (think France, Italy, Germany) nor different enough from local offerings to carve out a niche perhaps. Chilean Carmenere I think however can present a delicious, very well priced BBQ wine, and lacks the sharp edges and clunky acid that can be found in some Australian reds under $20. Here are two Chilean wines recently tasted.
Luis Felipe Edwards Rosé 2016This rosé is made from cabernet sauvignon and merlot grown in Chile’s Central Valley. Salmon in colour, it has a simple aroma that reminds of rose water. The palate is medium bodied and the alcohol a little separate. Pleasant enough. (Alc: 13%, Region: Central Valley, Chile, Rating: Acceptable, Drink: now, Price: <$20, Tasted: September, 2017)
Viña Maipo Vitral Reserva Carmenere 2015This is an enjoyable Carmenere from Viña Maipo. The grapes are grown in the Rapel Valley, 150km or so south of Santiago. It has slightly rustic aromas of leather, tobacco and game. The palate is balanced, more refined in impression and enjoyable. (Abv: 13.5%, Region: Rapel Valley, Chile, Rating: Good, Drink: now to 2020, Price: about $20, Tasted: September, 2017)
I tasted these two wines in sequence, the former Bordeaux slightly lacking in charm, and the latter Cali cab being a little cooked in expression. Do I confess that I wondered whether they might, blended together, be capable of presenting more than the sum of their parts? The full body of the Cali cab, adding mid palate weight and overt fruit to the spine given by the more austere Bordeaux and resulting in a wine more than the sum of its parts. Sounds a bit realistic doesn’t it? Oh, wait.
Antoine Moueix Cloitre des Capucins Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2011, Bordeaux
Lovely fragrant nose. Christmas cake, violets and perhaps game meats. The palate disappoints. A restrained, slightly hard expression of plums and spice.
Drawbridge Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, California
From Lodi in the north of California’s Central Valley, this wine commences its journey from the opposite direction. Dried currant and prune aromatics. The palate is full bodied and has an impression of sweet fruited raisins. Tends to simple.
I did not see obvious further details about Drawbridge
Everyone’s making sauvignon blanc these days. From Chile’s Central Valley, this budget priced sauvignon blanc resembles neither an offering from New Zealand nor France. Sui generis perhaps. It presents strangely enough almost like an off dry riesling. Its aromatics remind of lemon and lime, with lifted floral notes. The palate tastes off dry and has balanced lemon and lime flavours. This is super easy to drink, and I think the sugar/acid balance works. I didn’t see the residual sugar levels for this vintage, but the 2013 vintage has 5g/l; enough to be perceptible.
Rating: Acceptable, Abv: 13%, Price: $12, Vendors: http://www.wine-searcher.com/, Website: http://www.vistamar.cl/en, Tasted: 2014