The Wines of Chile Blogger Tasting (Real-Time)

October 22, 2012 at 9:37 pm

This Wednesday 10/25/12, from 5-7pm PST, I will be a part of another very cool online wine tasting courtesy of the great folks over at Wines of Chile (WineLog, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube).  Chilean wines have had tremendous success in the US over the last decade and a half, with much of that market penetration coming from their tasty, but value-driven brands.  Their discovery of the long lost Bordeaux grape variety of Carménère has further cemented their status in the US drinking game, with that grape becoming their signature wine.  Our tasting will be of a different sort however, as Master Sommelier Fred Dexheimer (Twitter, Facebook) will be leading the tasting of 12 wines, live from Santiago, Chile.  The point of this tasting is not only to drive home the value that can be found in these wines, but to also show off their burgeoning sense of place, as the Chilean wine industry continues to come into its own as an winegrowing nation of international quality.

I will also be writing about this event in a different manner than the norm, here at Vinopanion.  Much like a WBC Speed Tasting, I’ll be writing most of my educational and tasting notes (BlogChile2012) in real-time, as I follow Fred Dex and interact with all of the other bloggers tasting from around the world.  You can preview the wines after the jump. Check back in on 10/25/12, from 5-7pm PST and join in the fun using #BlogChile!

Wines of Chile Quick Facts:

– There are 4000 km of coastline in Chile.

– Leyda Valley appellation has some granite soils, adding minerality to many of their wines.

– Gran Reserva is not regulated as a wine classification in Chile, as in the US, but usually the top 3/4 line of wines from most wineries in Chile.

Wines of Chile (WineLogTwitterFacebookYoutubeBlogChile2012:

Viña Casablanca Casablanca Valley Nimbus Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Color: Lightly yellow with green tinges, clear edges.

Nose: Good herbaceousness here, with some grassiness at the fore, then more tart tropical fruit comes in, followed by very bright citrus notes.

Palate: Light-bodied, this has very zesty acidity, resulting in very juicy grapefruit and lime, but also with a light creaminess of melon to balance things out. Good.

San Pedro Leyda Valley 1865 Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Color: Medium gold in tone, lightest edges.

Nose: Toast and green olive here, with a light herbaceousness, with ripe and warm lemon underneath.

Palate: Good acidity here, but that same green olive savoriness is found here that is alternating savory and saline, but also detracts from the cleaner lemon fruit.

 Casa Silva Colchagua Valley Paredones Estate Cool Coast Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Color: Medium to very light yellow in tone.

Nose: Very good flinty and salty lemon citrus fruit here, with more bright citrus lurking.

Palate: Medium-full here, with great depths of juicy, almost zesty acidity. Outstanding savory elements of flint, granite, and saline, with juicy lemon and lime fruit. Very good: NewWorldWK.

Emiliana Casablanca Valley Novas Gran Reserva Pinot Noir 2010

Color: Medium ruby in tone, with light ruby edges.

Nose: Very light and earthy red fruit and toast here, with some slight heat.

Palate: Smooth and medium full, this has some nice silkiness, to counteract that bit of heat. Good juicy red fruit here, with a bit of spice and finishing with that same toast.

Cono Sur Casablanca Valley 20 Barrels Pinot Noir 2009

Color: Medium garnet in tone, with more ruby edges.

Nose: Deep spicy cola and rhubarb, with wonderful black cherry and slightly brighter, toasty raspberry.

Palate: Medium full here, with great juicy black cherry liqueur, moving out to earthier unsweetened cola. Good.

Morandé Casablanca Valley Gran Reserva Pinot Noir 2009

Color: Medium to darker garnet, with lighter garnet edges.

Nose: Spicy and herbaceous red fruit here, with toast and earth & flint.

Palate: Medium to full, this shows nice smooth mouthfeel, with sweeter red fruit here and menthol, finishing with toast and flint.

Concha y Toro Cachapoal Valley Marques de Casa Concha Carménère 2010

Color: Deep and dark violet and ruby.

Nose: Deep and dark, loamy black fruit here, ripe and filled with some leather and dust.

Palate: Full, with that toasty and anise-filled black fruit from the nose, this shows some nice meat and earth out into the dark and stormy finish. Good.

Carmen Colchagua Valley Alpata Vineyard Gran Reserva Carménère 2010

Color: Dark ruby in the core, with brighter ruby at the edges.

Nose: Sweeter stewed red fruit here, sweet toast.

Palate: Full, with medium acidity, and distinct toast, but more stewed red fruit here as well.

 Koyle Royale Alto Colchagua Carménère 2009

Color: Deep violet and ruby, with violet edges.

Nose: Slightly closed right now, but showing scary dark fruit, flint and deep, dusty earth and loam.

Palate: Full, but very balanced with great acidity, dark and savory leather, earth, and flint; then the black fruit re-envelopes with anise to the dark and long finish. Very good, but needs time: KeeperWK.

Viña Ventisquero Maipo Valley Grey Glacier Single Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Color: Medium to darker ruby, with ruby edges.

Nose: Earthy and dusty black fruit here, with a bit of loam.

Palate: Good acid here, with bright and sweeter red fruit, finer tannin and medium full, this shows some nice herbal notes as well, particularly anise. More Old World in style.

Viña Maquis Colchagua Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Color: Deeper violet and garnet.

Nose: Deep and ripe black cherry fruit here, with some toast and earth. Good.

Palate: Full bodied, with ripe and coating tannin, this shows good acidity, with earthy good black fruit as well, into a bit of leather in the finish.

Viña Los Vascos Les Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) Colchagua Valley Le Dix Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Color: Medium to darker ruby, with lighter ruby edges.

Nose: Sweeter earth and toast here in the start, then deeper, ripe black fruit comes in with a bit of cherry tobacco.

Palate: Full here, with firm and coating tannin, this has great tobacco as well, with deep and juicy black and red fruit to balance all of that out. Good, but could use some more time to integrate the sweeter toast.

Ward Kadel - @drXeNo is the founder of Vinopanion wine blog, the West Coast Ambassador & Staff Blogger for and Le Wine Buff for (CIVB). He will try any and all wines and tends to write about the parts of his life that include virtually all of it! He and his wife grew up in Napa and Sonoma and they still live in the Napa Valley. View Ward's WineLog and check out the wines he's recommended with his WKBadges. Follow him on Twitter and Like Vinopanion on Facebook. Contact him: "Ward at". Ward happily accepts samples but does not guarantee a review, positive or negative.

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