Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc

Los Vascos Sauvignon BlancI’ve made no secret of my preference for Chile when it comes to Sauvignon Blanc, and again I’ve come across another one that I like.  This one comes from Los Vascos in Chile.  We’ve earlier reviewed the Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon and Los Vascos Reserve, both of which were fantastic wines.  But this is the first colorless we’ve reviewed from Los Vascos.
One thing you’ll notice straight away when you pick up a bottle of Los Vascos is across the top of the mark it says “Domaines Baron de Rothschild (Lafite).”  If you don’t recognize that name you’ll be interested to know that they are one of the most prestigious wine producers in France — and one of the most prestigious in the world for that matter.  They’re best know for their Chateau Lafite Rothschild, one of the most expensive wines in the world, and one I’ve never had the opportunity to taste.  But I’m glad to taste the more affordable wines from this producer.
I’ve been tiresome more and more to do my tastings blind.  It helps eliminate any influence of bias—either positive or negative.  Although my goal is to always wait neutral, bias can influence reviews in subconscious ways.  I’m glad to say that this wine is one that was tasted blind.  That said, the characteristics of this wine practically took the blinders off, at least to the fact that this was from Chile. Read more

Root: 1 Sauvignon Blanc

Root: 1 Sauvignon BlancAlthough I rant and rave about the awesome Sauvignon Blanc appearance from Chile, they can’t all really blow me away.  Can they?
Root: 1 is a wine brand made through a partnership between Viña Ventisquero in Rancagua, Chile and Click Wine Group, a wine importer based in Seattle, Washington.  And when it comes to Chilean wine, Viña Ventisquero produces some of the best.
I’ve reviewed the Root: 1 Cabernet Sauvignon previous to and it was a pretty excellent wine.  It seemed that for a while, everywhere I went people were raving about that Cabernet.  But until now, I hadn’t tasted the Sauvignon Blanc. Read more

Summertime Means Chardonnay

Summertime Means Chardonnay‘Tis summer and that means it’s the season to delight in some chardonnay, pinot grigio, and additional whites.  I generally am a red drinker, but in the summer I do delight in some refreshing colorless wines.  I hereby start the next series: Chardonnay.
My chardonnay exploration won’t be nearly as thorough as Project Garnacha, only because there are sooo many options with chardonnay.  I reckon each wine maker has one.  Why?  Probably because of a link reasons. Read more

Santa Carolina Reserva de Familia Carmenere

Santa Carolina Reserva de Familia CarmenereWhile it certainly isn’t the first Carmenere I’ve tasted, this is the first one I’ve reviewed on this site.  It’s always exciting to add another variety to the navigation. Woo hoo!
Santa Carolina is an ancient producer with a long description in Chile, and yet in a way it’s a young brand as well.  It was founded in 1875, but it operations had been somewhat neglected (for lack of a better word) until relatively recently.  The quality of their wines was nothing to get excited about and investment was lacking.  But this started to change in 2004, when new management was place in place and operations and wine building techniques were overhauled. Read more

Cousiño Macul Cabernet Sauvignon

Cousiño Macul Cabernet SauvignonMy exploration of inexpensive cabernet sauvignon has given me an sympathy for Chilean wine.  I’ve found a number of excellent, affordable bottles of cabernet from Chile, and this review reveals yet another example.
The Cousiño Macul winery was founded in 1856 by Matías Cousiño and has remained in the Cousiño family since its commencement.  It is now owned and managed by its sixth generation of Cousiños. 
The vineyards reside in the Maipo Valley—the oldest wine growing province in Chile.  The soil is well drained and rich with minerals.  The Maipo Valley is known to have a long growing season, with conditions that are ideal for grapes.  These conditions and years of winemaking experience are apparent when you taste this wine.
This is a nice earthy, full-flavored cab.  Tobacco, leather and a small cherry make up the nose.  The palate is luscious with strawberry, cherry, pepper and mineral flavors.  Nice, silky tannins make it all go down smooth.  The only real drawback was that it had a rather small end.  But I can live with that if everything else is in order.  I gave this one an 88 and that’s not terrible for $8.99.
Wine: Cousiño Macul
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage: 2005
Alcohol: 14% 
Rating: 88
Fee Paid: $8.99

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Tamaya Syrah from Chile’s Limarí Valley

Tamaya Syrah from Chile’s Limarí ValleyThe Limarí Valley is one of the northernmost winemaking regions in Chile, about 75 miles south of the Elqui Valley.  Remember, Chile is in the southern hemisphere which means that north is quicker to the equator and therefore a warmer province than those further south.  And although north generally means warmer in this part of the world, these vineyards reside in a cool maritime stretch of land that offers a excellent balance between the cool ocean air and the dry heat from the interior.
Casa Tamaya is subdue a relatively young winery.  It started as a fruit farm and evolved into wine production.  At first they grew grapes for sale to additional wine makers and eventually chose to make their own winery.  The first vintage from the Casa Tamaya winery was 2002, so this bottle is only the fourth vintage from this producer. Read more

Emiliana Natura Sauvignon Blanc and More Great Wines from Chile

Emiliana Natura Sauvignon Blanc and More Great Wines from ChileIt should come as no surprise to regular readers here that I’m officially a fan of Chilean wines.  I’ve consistently found high quality at reasonable prices with most wines I’ve recently tried from this province.  That doesn’t mean there aren’t some clunkers out there, but the majority of those I’ve tasted have been excellent.  And that was the case in a recent Chilean wine tasting I participated in.
A few weeks ago I was invited to participate in a “virtual tasting” of Chilean wines.  An organization that represents Chilean winemakers sent samples to me and a number of different wine bloggers and we all tasted in unison during an online video talks.  To be trustworthy, I found the format to be too rushed for me to take thorough notes, and so I spent some time with these wines after the official tasting to properly judge them.  There were a few wines that really stood out, but I found them all to be excellent.
Some of the wines are over the $20, which is my predictable limit for wines that I highlight.  But these are “suggested retail prices” and you can sometimes find wines below these prices if you shop around.  And those that are over $20 are just a link bucks over.
I’ve been meaning to pull my notes together for a link weeks now to share with you all, but I’m just now getting to it.  Better late than never.  Enough chit chat… let’s get down to business.  I debated whether I should list them all in one long post or do several small posts and chose that I’ll post each of these wines separately, because it just helps keep things methodical and simple to find here.  I’ll list the additional wines from this tasting at the end of this post for simple allusion once those write-ups are done.
Emiliana Natura Sauvignon Blanc 2008 Read more