Excellence, quality and value of Chilean Wines praised by James Suckling

“A different Chile: Greatness beckons, but is it a leap too far?” is the title of James Suckling´s new annual report on Chile, in which he was very optimistic: “the Andean country is producing bottles of excellent quality and remarkable value, and these characteristics were consolidated by the fantastic 2018 and 2019 harvests”, he points out.

The critic and his team tasted more than 1,065 bottles of Chilean wines, and although he thinks that there is still a way to go “from excellence to greatness”, progress through years has been remarkable. According to the report, “this may be a surprising conclusion given the high expectations for Chilean wines; after all, even the country’s mass-produced bottles show a quality that is above reasonable”.

This is reflected in the figures provided by Suckling in its report, since of the total wines reviewed this year, 920 bottles received scores of at least 90 points – universally considered as the threshold of excellence -, which means that 86% of qualified wines are highly recommended. This becomes a new record for Chile, since, in last year’s report, 83% of the wines had managed to cross that barrier, while in 2019 and 2018 they had done so by 73% and 74% respectively.

Considering the growing acclaim of chilean wines, Suckling says the challenge is to regularly produce wines above the 90 to 92 points range, the benchmark for high-quality Chilean wine.

“This can be difficult for producers with fewer resources, who always have to think twice about costs. But these small producers and boutique wineries are also the most active and innovative part of the Chilean wine industry. Not afraid of breaking ground, they are willing to accept change and dare to be different, opening a niche in the market, ”he highlighted in his report.

The report contains two parts and is available at www.jamessuckling.com.


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