Chile Comes Out ON TOP– Again!
One of the wine world’s most famous and charismatic critics has just published his 250 Best Wines Buying Guide 2009 (www.anovabooks.com)
The first chapter lists Oz’s Top 40 wines of the year and Chile takes pride of place with the Viña Falernia Elqui Valley Syrah 2005 listed as his number one wine. In fact, another Chilean cool climate wine makes the top 10 with Viña Leyda Garuma Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2007 from the Leyda Valley at number 7 in the ranking.
Oz Clarke’s comments on these two classic new-wave Chilean wines serve to illustrate how much progress Chile has made in establishing its quality credentials in the competitive world of wine.
No. 1: 2005 Syrah, Reserva, Viña Falernia, Elqui Valley, Chile
”This was just a rumour long before it was a flavour, a perfume, a stain in the glass, a mellow reflection on pleasure drained. The rumour said that up in the far north of Chile, towards the Atacama Desert, the driest place in the world – far too arid to grow a decent vine – someone was producing cool-climate reds of succulence and scent and restrained beauty that would make the greatest vineyards of France purple with envy. Cool climate? In the desert? Well, this is the genius of Chile. Bounded by ice-cold Antarctic currents, the hotter the inland gets, the fiercer and colder the winds that will rip up the coastal valleys towards the heat. The Elqui valley, the baked interior, the hissing chill of the sea gales. Sun for ripeness, cool for fruit and perfume and beauty. A star was being born in the far north. If French wines can boast that their texture is superior to those of the New World, here’s where the argument begins to break down. This wine has fantastic texture. The fruit is dense yet soft, with real intensity, the tannin there to season not to bully, and the wine rolls across your tongue, leaving an eiderdown of glycerine that fails to smother the tingling trail of acid and grainy tannin. Just as the lush blackberry and liquorice concentration fails to silence the fringe flavours of pepper, celery, herbs and wood smoke. And the price? £9.95. That’s also the genius of Chile. Wonderful flavours, prices we can afford”.
No. 7: 2007 Sauvignon Blanc, Garuma Vineyard, Viña Leyda, Leyda Valley, Chile
“Up and down the Chilean coast there are numerous places where it’s really cool and where Sauvignon can ripen slowly to the tongue-tingling crackling fruitiness that is its hallmark. This wine comes from a marvellous new area called Leyda. I’ve stood in this vineyard and gazed at the icy Pacific Ocean within shouting distance to the west. The wine’s colour is water white. It’s so fresh you can feel the prickle in your nose as you pick it up to smell. Taste it, and the spritzy prickle teases your tongue as the shock of the raw capsicum and nettle, lime zest, gooseberry and coffee bean dives into the tired recesses of your spirit and rips away the cobwebs and fatigue. Exemplary stuff”.
Also in Oz’s Top 40 is the Viñedos Emiliana Coyam 2004, the impressive organic wine from the Colchagua Valley comes in at number 34.
Elsewhere in the Guide, 17 Chilean wines are in the “Top 100 wines for under £10” section:
- Montes Alpha Chardonnay 2006, Casablanca Valley
- Cono Sur Visión Sauvignon Blanc 2007, Casablanca Valley
- Anakena Single Vineyard Viognier 2007, Rapel Valley
- Anakena Ona Viognier-Riesling-Chardonnay 2007, Rapel Valley
- Montes Limited Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2007, Leyda Valley
- Tabalí Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2007, Limarí Valley
- Montes Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2007, Casablanca Valley
- Montes Alpha Syrah 2006, Apalta, Colchagua Valley
- Palo Alto Reserva 2006, Maule Valley
- Anakena One Pinot Noir-Merlot 2006, Casablanca Valley
- Cono Sur Reserva Pinot Noir 2007, Casablanca Valley
- El Huique Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2003, Colchagua Valley
- Viñedos Emiliana Adobe Organic Carmenère 2006, Colchagua Valley
- Laroche Punto Niño Cármenère 2006, Colchagua Valley
- Porta Winemaker’s Reserva Pinot Noir 2007, Bío Bío Valley
- Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Central
- Viñedos Emiliana Gamma Carmenère 2007, Colchagua Valley
For more information please contact Michael Cox at Wines of Chile UK firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: +44 (0) 1344 872 229