Chile has been producing some great wines for centuries and most recently have really expanded their export market into markets as far away as USA and Europe and in fact they are the No1 wine in the UK within the 10 GBP price point. Even though there is some stigma with some people thinking that *”New World wines” are not as flavorful as “Old World” this is of course down to personal taste, Chile is classed as New World producer. That said there are some fantastic examples of good wines Chile and this article will highlight the key wine making regions of the Country as well as as explore some wineries and product that they produce.
*“Old World” relates to the traditional regions for wine making Countries in Europe (France, Spain, Italy and Portugal) and the Middle East and “New World” relates to all the other regions wine is produced so generally it means geographical although some people mis use the defination.
Plus points for Chilean wines
Chilean wines really do offer great value as they are not priced the same as other regions and you can really pick up a great wine for a lot less than other Countries sometime in the hundreds of dollars more expensive in other Countries. This is not the only reason as they produce some interesting and unique wines across the different regions within the Country.
As you will properly know Chile is referred to North and South due to the length of the Country in fact approx. 4,200km which of course is extremely long and the width of the Country being very thin and runs nestled in between the Andes mountain range and the Pacific Ocean. These geographical facts affects the climate for growing wines as you get warmth in fact most days the sun appears which ripens the grapes quicker however you get the cooling winds from the Ocean which affects the acidity and the end result is such that it induces a great climate for growing some top class wines.
The wine regions stretch through the geographic location of the Country traveling through a variety of different climates.
The central wine regions of the Country are as follows:
Colchagua Valley– The central valley of Chile is called the Rapel valley which hosts Colhagua valley 100 miles south of the capital Santiago which over the years has become well know as one of the best wine regions in the Country. Grapes such as Carménère, Malbec and Syrah are grown here which deliver a full-bodied wine.
Maipo Valley– The most historic region in Chile as the first grapes were planted here by the Spanish and from thereafter grapes from Bordeaux were imported and planted here, they region really started to deliver some great fruits thus delivering some wonderful Cabernet based wines.
Limari Valley– not in the central region but is the second most Northern wineries in Chile and is approx. 200 miles North of the capital and the climate here from coming from the Atacama desert and the Pacific ocean. Some great Sauvignon Blancs, Chardonnays and Syrahs are produced here.
Aconcagua Valley – This wine growing region is second closest to the capital approx. 40 miles North which produces some crisp refreshing fresh water coming from the Aconcagua mountain which is the largest in the Americas. The climate is warm here with some cooler higher altitude areas that are perfect for Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah grapes.
Casablanca Valley– North west of Santiago and is a latecomer to the Chilean wine scene and home to the Countries first cool climate vineyard. The region is well-known for producing some wonderful Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnays, Syrah and Pinot Noir.
The following well-known wineries are based in the following wine regions.
- Colchagua Valley – Montes, Casa Lapostolle
- Maipo Valley – Concha y Toro, Santa Rita
- Limari Valley – Concha y Toro, Santa Rita and San Pedro
- Aconcagua Valley – Vina Errázuriz
- Casablanca Valley – Veramonte and Matetic
Good wines Chile!
Some recommendations of some good wines from this diverse wine Country are as follows:
Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon
From Maipo Valley. This fine example has over 100 ratings of over 90 points since 2008.
Errazuriz Max Aconcagua allto
Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon
From Aconcagua Valley. Great value with this top end Cabernet Sauvignon with a score of 94 points. Why not try the Carmenere 2018 also that score 92 points.
Concha y Toro Don Melcho
Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon from Puente Alto.
Rated as high as 98 from James Suckling and 95 from wine spectator.
“Don Melchor has reached yet another milestone in its already illustrious history. The influential US magazine Wine Spectator revealed its much-awaited list of the Top 100 Wine
From Apalta. Scoring 94 points – Robert Parker’s wine advocate “The 2006 Folly is a world-class Syrah (not only because of the superb Ralph Steadman label). It is sourced from a ridiculously steep vineyard in Apalta and aged for 18 months in new French oak. Inky black in color, it reveals a super-expressive nose of toasty new oak, pepper, lavender, game, incense, and blueberry. Voluptuous on the palate but not heavy, it has gobs of sweet fruit, layers of flavor, a firm structure, and 5-7 years of aging potential. Drink this impeccably balanced, lengthy effort from 2015 to 2026”
Viu Manent San Carlos
From Colchagua. This Malbec is made from 100-year-old vines from blocks 4 and 5 of the San Carlos vineyard and is intense, dark ruby-red color.
Almaviva, Maipo Valle
Elegant, powerful and well-structured, with a refined mix of dark fruit, dried red fruit and spice flavors. Dried herbal notes emerge midpalate, with a minerally finish that is long and rich-tasting. Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
Calories: 94 per 125ml glass
This dry red low calorie, low carb wine is also vegetarian and vegan.
Deep ruby with violet hues. The nose initially reveals black and red berries, such as murtillas, blueberries, black plums and raspberries. The mouth provides juicy black fruit flavours and balanced acidity, together with soft tannins and a delicate finish.
There really are some fantastic wineries and wines being produced in Chile and I recommend trying a number of different varieties that I have mentioned in this article although of course i have only discussed a few of an extremely large selection of some really great wines that are easily available worldwide. I would like to hear your comments below if you have any comments on any of the points raised and indeed what your favorite Chilean winery and wines are and maybe how you rate these great wines to other wine growing Countries around the world.