Wednesday, May 4, 2011

WHAT I AM DRINKING TODAY. CHILEAN WINE TASTING APRIL 13, 2011

Wines of Chile held a fabulous tasting of the Syrah and Pinot Noir Varietals that this country produces, 4 of each.   In general all of the wines were very good, some outstanding, a few great.   Here are my evaluations of what we tasted:

PINOT NOIR

  1. VALDIVIESO RESERVE PINOT NOIR 2009  (CASABLANCA VALLEY, $16.99
I found this wine to be pleasing and quite good, though a little light in both body and color.  There are other Pinots from Chile in this price range that are much superior, however.

  1. VINA CASABLANCA NIMBUS ESTATE PINOT NOIR (CASABLANCA VALLEY, $19.99)
Deep in purple tones, this wine has good body and is well balanced.  I found its texture excellent with many of the tonalities typical of good Chilean Pinots.

  1. VERAMONTE RITUAL PINOT NOIR 2009 (CASABLANCA VALLEY, $19.99)
This was one of the more interesting experiences of the night.  At first, I found the ritual to be tart and having a short, unpleasing finish.  However, when I came back to it later, after having tasted all 8 wines, I found it to be quite smooth, with major finesse, and a long pleasing finish.  It actually turned out to be one of the best of the night.  Curiously, 3 days later I was having dinner at one of my son’s house in NYC and he pulled out a Ritual to have with pizza and salad!!  It was really fabulous.  I am now a fan.  An outstanding wine for sure.

  1. CONO SUR OCIO PINOT NOIR 2008 (CASABLANCA VALLEY, $65.00)
In my mind, Ocio was unquestionably the best wine of the night and is the best wine Cono Sur produces.  It is a great wine and can stand up to wines 10 times its price from the best of France.  It may not be DRC but it is a terrific version; long in the finish, smooth like silk, and with an individualistic offering of mild spices.

SYRAH

  1. TAMAYA SYRAH RESERVA 2009 (LIMARI VALLEY ($ 17.99)
Subtly round, with good balance and a smooth finish.  An outstanding wine, without being overwhelming, I found its medium body very pleasing.

  1. LOMA LARGA SYRAH 2006 (CASABLANCA VALLEY, $29.00)
This boutique winery is one of my favorites.  All of their wines possess tremendous subtlety and style.  The Syrah is a very special version, French in style, and quite complex for this varietal.    I found it to be very sensuous and delicious.  There are less than 1000 cases made so it is a privilege to drink it.   This is a great wine. 

  1. UNDURRAGA T.H. SYRAH 2009 (LEYDA VALLEY, $24.99)
This Syrah is quite different in style from the others, in part because Leyda Valley has a different climate, in part because the winemaker paves his own trail.  I found it to be terrific in every way, body, aroma, and finish.  A wonderful wine and a rewarding experience.

  1. HACIENDA ARAUCANO RESERVA SYRAH (LOLOI VALLEY ($13.00)
This wine is very good, with medium body and a nice finish.  It is a more traditional version but a solid product.

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