Two promising Rieslings from Chile

I may be in a minority, but I reckon Chile’s whites are a bit more interesting than reds at the moment.

And Riesling, although it’s still quite rare here, could be particularly interesting.

Here’s a contrasting pair that I’ve recently tried, from rather different terroirs.

Gran Valle de Niebla Reserve Riesling 2011 Bio Bio, Chile
Made by Cono Sur, [...]

Weekend in the country, and three rich whites: Chile, South Africa and France

The long bank holiday weekend provided an ideal opportunity for a family get together. Remarkably, we managed to find a house big enough to take 15 on budget in the quaint village of Erdisland, Herefordshire.

My job on these occasions is to provide the wine. There’s a strong demand for crisp, dry, unoaked white wine, and [...]

A lovely, inexpensive Chilean Riesling

This is a nicely poised, brilliantly drinkable and well balanced Riesling from Cono Sur. Can’t think of a better one for the money (£6.45 from Tesco.com, although currently listed as out of stock).

Cono Sur Bicycle Riesling 2010 Central Valley, Chile
13.5% alcohol. Minerally, lemony nose leads to a sweetly fruited melon and citrus palate that is [...]

I wish more Chilean wines were like this

Costero Syrah 2008 from Vina Leyda, in the Leyda Valley. Bright, vivid, peppery. Sweet fruit, but not too sweet. Some notes of olive. Black cherry and blackberry fruit, with a hint of Chileanness, but not too much.

It was a bargain at £6.99 on multibuy from Majestic a year ago. I wish I had bought more, [...]

Video: tasting three Gewurztraminers

So, here’s a short film. I taste three different Gewurztraminers – from Alsace, Chile and Hungary – and talk about them.

Fonseca 1970, Delamain 1914, Vin de Constance 1988 and other treats

Had a very enjoyable dinner last night at the offices of Mentzendorff, a major high-end UK agency house. It was more fun than work, but I took some notes on the wines in my usual geeky way. Here they are.

Champagne Ayala Perle d’Ayala Nature 2002
This is the non-dosage version of Ayala’s prestige cuvee, and it’s one [...]

Two from Mayu

Very happy to find two delicious wines in Asda at a fiver each. They are a pair from Chilean producer Mayu, located in the stunning and remote Elqui region in the north. They are made by Italian ex-pat Giorgio Flessati (above), who is the winemaker at Falernia and Mayu, two closely related companies.

The white is [...]

Unwinding after the final day of the trade fair with some Vouvray

I am properly tired. The third day of the London International Wine Fair (held in the Docklands, above) was a good one, but after a late night last night (at the wonderful Brawn), an early-ish start this morning, and some residual illness from the weekend, and I’m spent, gov. Nothing left in the tank. Oh, [...]

A lovely Chilean Gewurztraminer

Gewurztraminer is a funny grape. Usually, I like it in small doses. It can be just a bit too distinctive. But I did once have lunch with someone who was suffering from a Gewurztraminer-induced hangover. Anyway, this is a really good Chilean example of this grape variety. Brilliant balance.

Maiden Flight Gewurztraminer 2010 Casablanca Valley, Chile
13.5% [...]

Santa Carolina's 'icon' Carmenere, 'Herencia'

I’ll have to admit it, but I was slightly disappointed by this wine. It’s Santa Carolina’s icon Carmenere, named Herencia, and it comes in a huge, heavy bottle. It has a price tag to match – £100. But it failed the empty bottle test. I opened it last night with two others, and we had [...]