jamie goode's wine blog: Another packed day: focusing on Chile

Friday, September 11, 2009

Another packed day: focusing on Chile

Another busy day, focusing on Chile.

It began at La Fromagerie in Marylebone, with a tasting of Cono Sur's organic wines with chief winemaker Adolfo Hurtado. We had a long discussion about organics, which was very useful research material for a book chapter, and finished the tasting off with four cheeses from La Fromagerie, matched with the Cono Sur wines.

They were (clockwise from 12 in the photo below) Cabecou du Rocamador (stinky but not too wild goats cheese with a soft rind); Napoleon from Montrejeau in the Pyrenees (a lovely ewe's milk cheese with rich texture and a lovely complex salty character - brilliant stuff, a bit like a softer version of comte); Taleggio di Valbrembana (guey but textured with lovely creamy, salty character, not too strong, very pure); and La Gabietout, Pyrenees (a mix of cow and ewe's milk, creamy, buttery, gentle and a bit nutty).

The wines were really good: solid commercial style with a twist of complexity.
Then it was off to lunch at the Bleeding Heart restaurant with Grant Phelps of Viu Manent, and Doug Wregg of Les Caves (who are the agents for Viu Manent). I think the Viu Manent range is probably the best in Chile: these are serious wines with real structure, good acidity, and loads of personality. Viu Manent's Carmenere, Viognier and Cabernet all excel. Their single-vineyard Malbecs, and their Viu 1 (mostly or all Malbec depending on the vintage) are just world class. I was blown away by them. Rather amazingly, Jay Miller of the Wine Advocate recently gave the top Viu Manent wines scores in the 60s. He was wrong by some 30 points, which is a staggering margin! (See a discussion on this here.)
Below: a full table, with Tina Gellie and Grant Phelps.

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At 8:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Jay Miller of the Wine Advocate recently gave the top Viu Manent wines scores in the 60s. He was wrong by some 30 points......'
Who can say?
The wine trade is a racket of gigantic proportions and one man's 62 is another man's subsidised 90.
Cono sur wines have always disappointed me, perhaps i just read the wrong blogs.

At 10:12 PM, Anonymous Alex Lake said...

That's a bizarre story. I could understand it if he didn't like the winery's style, but to give the same wine in other vintages scores in the 90's and then this one a 62 without any comment or explanation (other than "we've prioritised the book") is absurd and just goes to show what a flakey business this is.

Must admit it makes me want to try it!

At 2:47 AM, Blogger Claude Vaillancourt said...

About Jay Miller and Viu Manent. Jay miller gave an explaination for that on Squires board.


At 2:51 AM, Blogger Claude Vaillancourt said...

About Cono Sur. I just had the Chardonnay, 20 Barrels, 2007, Casablanca Valley today. Very nice wine in a restrained style.

At 3:30 AM, Blogger Owen Edwards said...

To sum up the thread Claude has posted: Jay tasted a prop bottle full of jug wine. They sent him the right thing and he gave it a 90+.

Doesn't make him less frustrating in general, but solves this mystery.

At 1:09 PM, Blogger Mark Underwood said...

I know you've previously given a good rating to the Matetic EQ Syrah and I see that Oddbins are selling the 2006 organic Matetic 'Corralillo' Syrah. Is this generally an inferior wine to the Matetic EQ? Have you tried it? Many thanks.

At 2:13 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

The Corallilo syrah is really good, too - one of Chile's very best. While it's a bit lighter than the EQ, it's still fantastic.

At 7:04 PM, Anonymous Alex Lake said...

Thanks Claude - what an extraordinary story. I now no longer want to try this wine!

At 8:26 AM, Anonymous Robert G said...

I can attest that the Viu 1 is quite an astounding wine. Would recommend that everybody try this when presented with the opportunity.

At 1:14 PM, Blogger zoli said...

the Viu Manent Single Vineyard malbec is such a nice wine, at least the 2005, which I tasted 3 or 4 times... one of my favorites, I agree it is world class. The Secreto Syrah is also pretty from Viu, I love their wines

At 5:34 PM, Blogger Derek said...

I have always liked the Cono Sur Pinots http://www.conosur.com/en/our-wines/reserva/pinot-noir/


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