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Four and Five Star Sauvignon Blancs recommended by Decanter

While Chileans are busy trying to escape winter’s cool rains by huddling up with warm mugs of navegado (spiced red wine, served hot), summer is in full swing in much of the northern hemisphere, and chilled white wines are a satisfying diversion to the season’s burgeoning heat.

Decanter magazine’s recent panel tasting of Chilean Sauvignon Blancs provides expert recommendations for quality wines that can complement your summer-fresh meals or festive occasions. Their panel of experts highlighted the following 4- and 5-star winners on Decanter’s website, summarized here as a tempting shopping list for Sauvignon Blanc.

Santa Rita, Reserva, Casablanca Valley 2011
Judges appreciated the “attractive aromatic nose of herbs, gooseberry, lemon and minerals,” and the “complex, intense palate of blackcurrant leaf, gooseberry” with “crunchy herbal notes and a long, expressive length.”

Casas del Bosque, Gran Reserva, Casablanca Valley 2011
A “very successful” wine. The panel found it “rich, honeyed, heady, tropical nose with some roasted lemon and creamy notes.” Furthermore, the Casas del Bosque Gran Reserva is “dense, minerally and layered with lots of facets to it and a long, intense flavor.”

Valdivieso, Single Vineyard, Wild Fermented, Leyda Valley 2010
This wine delivers “very strong aromas of oak, lemon, vanilla and roasted fennel,” and “ a lovely creamy, glossy texture and refreshing acidity,” with “body and texture” added by the oak.

Casas del Bosque, Pequeñas Producciones, Casablanca Valley 2011
A “compelling wine which is layered, dense and structured,” Pequeñas Producciones was praised as “masterly crafted” with “inviting ripe aroma of lemon, tomato leaf, green beans, grapefruit and lemon.”

Viña Casablanca, Nimbus, Casablanca Valley 2011
Nimbus is an “intense bouquet” with flavors of “gooseberry, ripe tropical fruit and lemon” and “tropical and elderflower fruit.” Judges evaluated it as “gently zesty and balanced.”

Quintay, Casablanca Valley 2011
“Lovely” and “bright,” Quintay is a “complex wine” with “aromas of pea pod, tangy nettle, nuts and roasted citrus fruit” complementing the wine’s “freshness and tartness.”

Montes, Outer Limits, Zapallar, Aconcagua Costa 2011

Outer Limits is “appealing and inviting,” combining notes of “green beans, pepper, lime, marine breeze and mineral bouquet” complete with “a touch of spritz with a strong green pepper and elegantly herbal flavor.”

Casas del Bosque, Reserva, Casablanca Valley 2011
The panel commented on this Reserva’s “really lovely purity and harmony,” as well as a “persistent” quality provided by “subtle aromas of citrus, pea pod, nuts, minerals and limestone” and “a bright, pithy grapefruit character.”

Viña Leyda, Single Vineyard Garuma, Leyda Valley 2011
The Single Vineyard Garuma is “unique” and “delicious,” as well as “dense, spicy and layered with minerality and complexity.” Accordingly, the fruit is “dry, savory,” displaying “restrained eucalyptus, forest, kiwi fruit, mineral, pea pod, citrus and grapefruit nose.”

Santa Rita, Gran Hacienda Reserva, Casablanca Valley 2011
“Very good; as it should be,” this wine emits “engaging aromas of minerals, tomato leaf, lemon zest,” and “good, tangy, moreish flavors of crunchy herb, juicy citrus, guava and watercress.”

Casa Marin, Cipreses Vineyard, Lo Abarca, San Antonio Valley 2010
“Herbal and vegetal notes mingling with lemon curd” and a “creamy aroma of chalk, honey, roasted pepper and cabbage” make this white wine “vigorous and compellingly complex.”

Cono Sur, 20 Barrels, Limited Edition, Casablanca Valley 2011
20 Barrels, Limited Edition is “super drinkable” with an “intense nose of pea pod, honey, grapefruit, gooseberry and passion fruit.” Judges also noted “round and refreshing” body “with good weight, a smooth texture and moderate acidity.”

Echeverria, Reserva, Casablanca Valley 2011
“Pretty, concentrated and rewarding,” the Echeverria Reserva is “simple but good,” a “bright bouquet of asparagus, pea pod, honey and minerals.”

Matetic, Casablanca Valley 2011
This wine contains a “tart palate with ripe grapefruit, asparagus and gooseberry flavors and refreshing bright acidity.” Praised as “integrated, complex, elegant and long,” Matetic exudes aromas of a “ripe gooseberry, mineral, grapefruit, lemon and herb bouquet.”


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