Santa Ema Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Santa Ema Reserve Cabernet SauvignonWhen I’m not enjoying a bargain wine, in additional words when I splurge, I have a preference for Italian wines, especially those from the Piedmont province.  If you know wines from this province, you know that many of them have exceptional depth, organize, complexity and balance.  Simply place, they’re gorgeous wines.  Most of them don’t come cheap, so I’m not able to delight in them each day.  But given my sympathy for both Piedmont and Chilean wines, it caught my eye when I saw that this Chilean wine has roots from Piedmont.  The founder of Santa Ema, Pedro Pavone Voglino, immigrated from Piedmont to Chile in 1917.  He was the son of an Italian winemaker and planted his first vineyards in Chile in 1931.
While that might not tell you anything about the wine, there is more to enjoying wine than just looking, smelling and tasting.  Enjoying wine is an experience.  There’s a ritual involved, like the whole administer of pulling the cork, pouring, swirling.  And there’s an emotional element.  We develop a keenness for particular types of wine, regions, winemakers, brands, etc.  For me, finding a wine with connections to both Piedmont and Chile sparked a keenness for both regions, and a curiosity.
I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed.  This is a really nice wine. Read more

Peñalolen Cabernet Sauvignon

Peñalolen Cabernet SauvignonI don’t have a lot of background on Peñalolen to share.  The winery was founded by Ricardo and Isabel Peña, who brought in Jean-Pascal Lacaze as their winemaker.  Peñalolén also happens to be the name of a community at the eastern edge of Santiago, right up against the Andean foothills.  This is part of the Maipo Valley and while the Peñalolen winery also produces a Sauvignon Blanc with grapes from Casablanca Valley, the grapes in this Cabernet Sauvignon are from Maipo.
Maipo may be Chile’s best known wine province, probably due to the fact that Santiago resides within this province and most large Chilean producers started in Maipo.  It’s also the only official Chilean winemaking province without a shores.  Most wine produced from Maipo is red and the province is best known for its Cabernet.  So, let’s find out how this one holds up. Read more

Gran Verano Cabernet Sauvignon

Gran Verano Cabernet SauvignonAs a publisher all ears on reviewing inexpensive wines, we can’t snub the “bag in a box” segment, also known as “boxed wine.”  We’ve in fact reviewed a link boxed wines previous to and we’ve found some decent ones out there.  Boxed wine doesn’t get much respect.  In many ways, that’s deserved.  There is some heinous stuff out there in boxes.  But more and more producers are putting quality wine into boxes and I reckon you’ll see that trend increase over the appearance years.
I was intrigued when I came across this particular wine.  After all, we’re huge fans of Chilean wine at Cheap Wine Ratings.  I was curious to find out what a bag in a box wine from Chile would have to offer.  Here’s what I found. Read more

Apaltagua Reserva Chardonnay

Apaltagua Reserva ChardonnayI’ve been a huge fan of Chilean wine for a while.  Their Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere and Sauvignon Blanc in particular have impressed me, but I haven’t come across a lot of Chilean Chardonnay that wowed me.  But, this one is pretty excellent.
The Apaltagua winery is located in the Apalta province in Colchagua Valley, Chile.  But the grapes for this Chardonnay come from Casablanca Valley, a province that is generally better for colorless wines than Colchagua Valley.  Apaltagua wines are imported into the US by Global Vineyard Importers. Read more

Espiritu de Chile Chardonnay

Espiritu de Chile ChardonnayThe wines of Espiritu de Chile are estate bottled at the Aresti Winery in Chile, one of the two companies that have partnered to produce Espiritu de Chile.  The additional companionship is A. Racke from Germany.  Aresti has a description of wine building in Chile going back to 1951 and they now have nearly 1,000 acres of vineyards in Chile. Read more

Carmen Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon

Carmen Reserva Cabernet SauvignonAlthough Viña Carmen has been around since 1850, it was reborn in 1987 when it was bought by Claro Group.  Today, their main vineyards are in Maipo Valley, but they also have vineyards in Rapel, Casablanca and Curicó Valley.  And they are one of the top producers in Chile.
This wine continues the trend we’ve found of Chilean wines delivering exceptional quality for the fee.
Although it’s labeled as Cabernet Sauvignon, technically it’s only 85% Cab, with 10% Syrah and 5% Merlot.  This is a well-oaked, but not over-oaked wine, with 80% of it aged in a combination of French and American oak for 10 months. Read more

Viu Manent Reserva Carménère

Viu Manent Reserva CarménèreViu Manent is a family-owned winery in Colchagua Valley, Chile.  Founded in 1935, it originally below the name Vinos Viu.  Seventy-some years after its commencement, the winery is subdue run by descendants of its founders.
The grapes for this wine come from a vineyard named La Capilla, near the town of Peralillo.  It’s 100% Carménère and the wine was aged 11 months in 87% French oak and 13% American oak. Read more