Cool Climate Red Wines from Chile

Cool Climate Red Wines from ChileA few weeks ago, I had an opportunity to take part in a Chilean wine tasting with several additional wine bloggers around the country.  It was a virtual tasting, meaning that we were connected “effectively” not that we effectively tasted… we really did taste the wines.  But we were connected via a web talks with all the additional bloggers participating and with the winemakers in Chile.  I’ve done a few of these previous to, and it’s always an fascinating way to taste and learn about a few new wines.
The theme for this tasting was “cool climate reds,” which means red wines produced in cool climate regions.  You see, some grape varieties perform better with cool conditions versus hot.  And some just perform differently.  In this tasting, it was pinot noir and syrah.  Pinot noir is exclusively a cool climate variety, as too much heat ruins these grapes.  Syrah, on the additional hand, can be produced in cool or warmer climates, but the results are different.
Some of the best wine growing regions are coastal, like Chile, and the cool, maritime influence is huge part of what makes these regions excellent for growing wine grapes.  But there is a lot of variation in climate within these regions, making some areas that are better, consistent cool climate regions as well as some warmer micro-climates.  For a number of years, Chile has had a excellent reputation for producing exceptional cool-climate colorless wines, but it’s really only been within the last five years or so that they’ve done well with cool-climate reds, like pinot noir.  And there’s certainly more to come.
Given the background for this tasting, these were not tasted blind.  Here are my notes.
Valdivieso 2009 Pinot Noir Reserva Read more