Wednesday, December 10, 2008

WBW #52: Value Reds From Chile

"Chile? I don't even need to taste the wine. You can just stick a bottle up my arse and I can tell you where the wine's from."
--Andre Van Rensburg (interview in Decanter 11/08)

A rather provocative statement. Rensburg, a South African wine maker, certainly has nothing good to say about the wines of Chile. Yet are his words accurate? Every region has its bad wines but every region has good ones as well. There has been plenty of press lately about value wines from South America, including Chile. Plus, a Chilean wine was recently announced as the #1 wine of 2008 by Wine Spectator. So the views of Rensburg are not held by all.

How do the wines of Chile really taste? Well, you will be able to read plenty of reviews today as bloggers across the globe participate in Wine Blogging Wednesday #52, which concentrates on Value Reds from Chile.

Tim of Cheap Wine Ratings is this month's host and chose the theme. The rules were simple, choose any red wine from Chile for $20 or less. It was even better if you found a wine for $10. You also got extra points for a wine from one of the lesser known regions such as Bío Bío, Elqui, Itata, Limarí, Malleco or San Antonio.

My choice was the 2006 Montes Syrah Alpha ($16.99) which is from Colchagua Valley of Chile. The wine is primarily Syrah but has 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Viognier. It also sees twelve months in French oak (though unsure how much is new oak). This wine had a dark red color with a strong nose of black cherry, vanilla and leather. It is a full bodied wine with a silky texture that easily slides across your palate and down your throat. A seductive wine with tastes of black cherry, cassis, vanilla, and a touch of almost cinnamon. The tannins are well integrated but this is still a wine that would benefit from being paired with food, maybe lamb or venison.

Overall, the style of this wine fell in the middle between a typical Australian Shiraz and a French Rhone. It was an interesting and enjoyable wine which I would recommend.

So my Chilean wine was a hit. Soar through the wine blogosphere today and find plenty of other Chilean reviews to see what everyone else thinks.


enzo said...

"... stick a bottle up my arse and I can tell you where the wine's from."

rumoured to be the new blind tasting method of the platter (south african wine guide) panelists. >=)

Rob Bralow said...

A nice wine from a good winery. Nice post. And a great quote. I saw that when it came out in Decanter.

Dale Cruse said...

Rich, that's the same wine I'm about to review! Damn!

Tim said...

Nice quote. Thanks for the review. This sounds like a good one that I'll have to check out.

Richard A. said...

It certainly does give a new meaning to "blind tasting."

Thanks. When I saw that quote a few weeks ago, I just knew I had to use it for WBW. It was so over the top.

Glad to see you enjoyed the wine too. It is always cool to get another person's take on the same wine, as palates can be so different.

Thanks for an interesting theme for WBW. I look forward to the round up to check out all the other reviews.