Virtual tastings and tweet-ups are becoming a weekly occurrence in the wine industry, and one of the best organized in my recent experience was by Wines of Chile.
At this tasting, we explored three styles of wines from four different varietals: Sauvignon Blanc, Carménère (Chile’s signature grape), Pinot Noir (relatively new to Chile) and Cabernet Sauvignon (Chile’s star red grape).
I think many of us who were invited to this event were surprised to discover that Chilean wines are unique and expressive, in addition to offering a low price point.
The tasting, attended by 60 U.S. wine bloggers, was moderated by Master Sommelier and Wines of Chile Educator Fred Dexheimer, who was in the same room as the winemakers. Bloggers watched them live on an online video screen, while tasting from the complimentary bottles shipped to us the previous week. As we experienced the lineup. we could ask questions of the winemakers and comment in a live micro-blogging stream located on the same web page as the video screen; others posted live on Twitter.
And now to the wine …
As regular readers know, we are big fans of Sauvignon Blanc, particularly with prawns or blue cheese on summer evenings relaxing on the deck. Our preference has been Sauv Blancs from Washington (Efeste and JM Cellars) and Napa Valley (Goosecross Cellars), and we are just starting to enjoy this refreshing, zesty wine from New Zealand.
Now, we are adding Sauv Blanc from Chile to our collection. Although these three wines are very different, they all made our list: Viña Casablanca Nimbus Single Vineyard 2012 ($13), San Pedro 1865 Single Vineyard 2011 ($19) and Casa Silva Cool Coast 2011 ($25). We particularly favored the last two because of their grapefruit flavors.
Of the 12 wines that were tasted, other standouts (to us) representing each grape were Morandé Casablanca Valley Gran Reserva Pinot Noir 2009 ($18), Koyle Royale 2009 Carménère ($26) and Viña Los Vascos 2009 Le Dix Cabernet Sauvignon ($65).
Here is the full list:
- Viña Casablanca Casablanca Valley Nimbus Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2012
- San Pedro Leyda Valley 1865 Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2011
- Casa Silva Colchagua Valley Paredones Estate Cool Coast Sauvignon Blanc 2011
- Emiliana Casablanca Valley Novas Gran Reserva Pinot Noir 2010
- Cono Sur Casablanca Valley 20 Barrels Pinot Noir 2009
- Morandé Casablanca Valley Gran Reserva Pinot Noir 2009
- Concha y Toro Cachapoal Valley Marques de Casa Concha Carmenere 2010
- Carmen Colchagua Valley Alpata Vineyard Gran Reserva Carmenere 2010
- Koyle Royale Alto Colchagua Carmenere
- Viña Ventisquero Maipo Valley Grey Glacier Single Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
- Viña Maquis Colchagua Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
- Viña Los Vascos Les Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) Colchagua Valley Le Dix Cabernet Sauvignon
Thanks Wines of Chile and Emily Denton for inviting me to this educational and fun event.