A country endowed with a picturesque topography, Chile, situated along the western seaboard of South America, extends approximately 2,700 miles with an average width of only about 110 miles. The length of the country enables different climates to house, each rendering a beautiful take on the produce and culture. With the Andes range dominating the landscape, Chile has the coastal Atacama desert beginning in the tropical north to the cold subantarctic Cape Horn at the southern tip. The varied climate enable a diverse range of grapes to shelter, concluding in tinted bottles of the beloved elixir, wine.
Known for producing value wines, Chilean wines can range from both fruit-forward factor to herbaceous wines, owing to the long coastline, abundance of sunshine and adequate rain. And it is because of this reason that wine producers hailing from the highly coveted region of Bordeaux in the south of France, have invested heavily. Among New World wine-producing countries, Chile has earned a reputation of a value leader and its proliferation in the recent years is helping stamp the world with good to excellent wines.
I’ve always associated Chilean wines with being economical and but after my little sojourn at the Embassy of Chile in India, I do believe that Chilean wines shouldn’t take a back seat when it comes to celebrations. I got to try some great wines, ranging from a crisp sauvignon blanc to an intense cabernet sauvignon, each with distinctive qualities. The wines that I tried, in order, were:
1. Sauvignon Blanc | Casa Silva Cool Coast 2017
This sauvignon blanc from Vina Casa Silva is from Colchagua Valley. The wine is categorised by light pale and muted green hues. From light to medium bodied, this wine is highly acidic and a little sour. Intense nose comprised of notes of freshly cut grass and citrus zest. With medium aromatic persistence, the wine would pair well with seafood and salads.
2. Chardonnay | Cono Sur Bicicleta 2014
The wine from Cono Sur hails from the central valley. With an intense pale colour with hints of golden hues, the wine has an oaky aftertaste, which could be the reason for the intensity of the paleness. More evolved, the wine had a citrusy nose with hints of orange and pineapple. Because of mineral notes and good acidity, the wine can pair well with chicken and light roasted meats and vegetables.
3. Merlot | Three Peaks 2016
From rapel vinery, this Merlot from Three Peaks isn’t very mature as yet as can be said because of the pink rim on the glass. With very low tannins, the wine is drinkable by itself and can be paired with low flavour profile red meats. The fruity wine is smooth and light bodied and has a clear whiff of chocolate.
4. Carmenere | Casa Silva 2016
This young wine from vina Casa Silva has a bright and intense ruby colour. With mild notes of berries and cocoa on the nose, the wine is not as aromatic and feels a little cocoa and blueberry-like on the palate. Soft tannins. light acidity and a fair length of aromatic persistence would make this pair well with dishes like pasta, grilled chicken or even with spicy dishes.
5. Cabernet Sauvignon | Terra Noble Reserva 2015
The bold and structured red wine from Vinedos Terra Noble had a beautiful crimson red hue. Aching towards a fuller body, the wine has smoother tannins and a long finish along with aromas of cherry and plum. A tinge of smokiness and spiciness is rendered in the wine due to oak ageing, which would make it pair well with red meats.