New World Wine
Chilean wine has a long history for a New World wine region, as it was the 16th century when the Spanish conquistadors brought Vitus vinifera vines with them as they colonized the region. In the mid-19th century, French wine varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenère and Franc were introduced. In the early 1980s, a renaissance began with the introduction of stainless steel fermentation tanks and the use of oak barrels for aging. Wine exports grew very quickly as quality wine production increased. The number of wineries has grown from 12 in 1995 to over 70 in 2005.
A large number of French people immigrated to Chile during the late 20th century, and they were able to share their fine tastes and experience with the native Chileans, expanding their knowledge of the wine world. Chile is now the fifth largest exporter of wines in the world, and the seventh largest producer. The climate has been described as midway between that of California and France. The most common grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenère. So far Chile has remained free of the phylloxera louse, which means that the country’s grapevines do not need to be grafted with phylloxera-resistant rootstocks.
Boya Rose, Leyda Valley, 2017
$4.5 / $14
Refreshing coastal Rosé with flavors of bright raspberry, tangerine, and a mineral finish. Aromas of raspberry and tangerine with a mineral finish. Well-balanced with fresh acidity and great texture. Try with oysters, fresh goat cheese, roasted peppers, and grilled chicken.
Sombras del Sol Chardonnay, 2016
$6.5 / $20
Rich golden color. The aroma has intense sweet tropical fruit with hints of vanilla and orange blossom. On the palate, tropical fruits married with a fresh mineral acidity ensure a persistent finish. Great with chicken, seafood and cream based pastas.
Vina Mayu, Valle del Elqui Pedro Ximenez, 2017
$4.5 / $14
Mayu Pedro Ximenez is sourced from a single-vineyard, old vine, dry PX from one of Chile’s highest elevation vineyards – 6,320 ft. This is a stylish white wine that offers appealing floral and fruit aromas, with flavors balanced by fresh acidity, minerality and a long finish. It is best served with a range of foods, especially shellfish and other seafood.
Errazuriz, Valle del Aconcagua Pinot Noir Max Reserva, 2017
$8 / $25
Beautiful cherry red color. Aromas of cherries, raspberries and rose hips are complemented, with soft touches of tobacco and earthy notes. In the palate the wine is juicy, predominated by red fruit character and is accompanied by delicate balsamic notes. A wine of great balance, structure, elegant tannins and length. Fantastic with a tender filet cut complemented by rich demi-glace.
Bouchon Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014
$7.5 / $23
Intense bright ruby red. Aromas of red currant, cassis, jam, dried herbs, and coffee. The spice comes out on the palate with notes of cherry, currant, and a touch of vanilla. It is juicy and finishes with smooth tannins. A good match for grilled red meats such as a flank steak, barbequed beef, and creamy cheeses.
Casa Silva, Valle del Colchagua Carmenere Los Lingues Vineyard, 2016
$7.5 / $23
Deep ruby with a violet rim. On the nose, intense, with notes of ripe black fruits with hints of wild forest fruits. On the palate, good balance between fruit and oak, good structure, powerful, sweet and round tannins, and notes of boysenberries and hints of tobacco. Excellent finish. This Carmenere will accompany a surprisingly broad range of dishes. It’s sensational with lamb stew, beef Wellington, seasoned turkey, Thai red curry chicken or any kind of barbecued meat. Also ideal with kebabs, Indian or Mediterranean food.