They’ve done it again. Wines of Chile USA just completed their 5th Online Blogger Tasting. The latest version took place on April 13 and focused on Cool Climate Reds-Pinot Noir and Syrah-from Chile. Master Sommelier Fred Dexheimer led the 2-hour intercontinental tasting with 50 US bloggers participating from their computers all over the country and 8 Chilean winemakers gathered in Santiago to answer questions from Fred and the bloggers.
Chile’s diverse geography and climate allows many different grape varieties to find just the right conditions to thrive and produce an expanding line-up of outstanding wines.
Among those that are quickly attracting a great deal of attention are cool-climate reds-most specifically Pinot Noir and Syrah-planted in sectors close to the sea, where the maritime influence helps produce fresh bright fruit for juicy, well-balanced food wines.
Preparations for the latest on-line blogger tasting began months ago. The participating wineries sent their bottles, which in turn were sent to 50 bloggers around the US, along with a jar of Huerto Azul Myrtleberry Chutney with Merken, recipes, and pairing suggestions for the wines.
On the big night-April 13th-the bloggers signed on from their homes, the Wines of Chile US team set up operations in Puro Chile in New York City, and the Chile team and 8 participating winemakers gathered in Santiago Chile.
Lori Tieszen, Wines of Chile’s US Director, explained how it worked: “Fifty bloggers were treated to four outstanding Pinot Noirs and four amazing Syrahs from Chile. The eight winemakers took questions and provided tremendous insight into the innovation and development of the wines from Chile, soliciting enthusiastic responses from the bloggers.”
The Bloggers followed @drinkchile (Wines of Chile’s US Twitter account) and tweeted their own comments. Twitter users can search on the #ChileReds to see the more than 600 tweets sent before, during, and after the event.
The participants tasted the wines one by one, along with a representative from the winery who answered questions about the particular wine and other aspects of Chilean winemaking.
Cool-Climate Reds Blogger Tasting Wine List:
Viña Valdivieso Pinot Noir Reserve 2009, Casablanca (Winemaker Brett Jackson)
Viña Casablanca Nimbus Pinot Noir 2009, Casablanca (Winemaker Ximena Pacheco)
Viña Veramonte Ritual Pinot Noir 2009, Casablanca (Winemaker Cristian Aliaga)
Viña Cono Sur Ocio 2008, Casablanca (Winemaker Matías Ríos)
Viña Tamaya Syrah 2009, Limarí (Sommelier Rodolphe Bourdeau)
Viña Loma Larga Syrah 2008, Casablanca (Winemaker Cedric Nicolle)
Viña Undurraga TH Syrah 2009, Leyda (Winemaker Rafael Urrejola)
Viña Hacienda Araucano 2009, Lolol (Colchagua) (WinemakerLuca Hodgkins)
What the Bloggers Have to Say
Past blogger tastings have generated a flurry of blog posts related to the event itself and the wines tasted. This time, the Wines of Chile “Fast Work Trophy” goes to Tom Hyland of Reflections on Wine for being the first to post on the event. See his write up on last night’s Pinot Noirs here: “Perfecting Pinot Noir in Chile“
Other movers & shakers include:
Esquin’s Blog: Wines of Chile: Pinot Noir and Syrah Shine
Beau’s Barrel Room: Chilean Syrah and Pinot Noir Come to the Party in a Big Way!
A Fit and Spicy Life: Wines of Chile Blogger Tasting
The Good Wine Guru: Wines of Chile: Cool Climate Red Wines
Reflections on Wine: Struggling with Syrah in Chile
Benito’s Wine Reviews: Chilean Pinot-Syrah Tasting
For the other bloggers who participated in the Tasting: Send us your links and we’ll include them here!
Who’s up next?
What goes on behind the scenes of an Online Blogger Tasting? Check out this behind the scenes video:
And shots of our team in New York.
Click on the images to enlarge.