Gandolini 3 Marias, a brilliant Cabernet Sauvignon from Maipo, Chile

Stefano Gandolini’s winery focuses solely on Cabernet Sauvignon from the Maipo Valley. This wine was new to me: nicely packaged, in a big heavy bottle, it made me a little wary. I was worried it was going to be very sweet, rich and quite alcoholic. What a nice surprise to pour it and find freshness, [...]

Tara Pinot Noir, a lovely wine from Chile's Atacama

This is a remarkable wine, made by large producer Ventisquero on a very small scale from vineyards in the Atacama desert, in the far north of the country. It hardly every rains here, so the soils are quite unique. I reported on the Tara white a while back after tasting it in Chile; this red [...]

Casa Marin Miramar Vineyard Syrah, Chilean elegance

This is quite a remarkable wine. It’s also quite challenging, with really bold, edgy flavours. But brave winemaking like this – and, in particular, the decision to pick early, has to be rewarded. I reckon it’s one of Chile’s most interesting Syrahs, up there with the likes of Matetic and Vina Leyda – which, incidentally, [...]

Great value for money Chilean Chardonnay from De Martino

I’m really impressed by De Martino’s high end wines, which for Chile show an unusual (and welcome) sense of adventure. But I was also taken by this wine, an inexpensive Chardonnay with a lot of personality. For the price, it’s hard to beat.

De Martino Legado Chardonnay Reserva 2011 Limari Valley, Chile
Lovely pear and peach fruit [...]

A quick comparative Pinot Noir tasting (and drinking)

So tonight, I have four Pinot Noirs open. A chance to do some comparative tasting.

I love Pinot Noir. It’s such a great grape variety. So, for me, this is a joy of an evening. How do the wines rate?

Cono Sur 20 Barrels Pinot Noir 2011 Casablanca Valley, Chile
I actually opened this wine yesterday evening, and [...]

At the Feria Vinos de Lujo, Santiago

Last night I headed over to the Grand Hyatt in Santiago for a remarkable wine festival. It was fortunate that of the two nights I was in town, one should coincide with this event. Organized by Patricio Tapia, It wasn’t cheap at 42000 Pesos (around £50), but there was an amazing array of Chilean wines [...]

In Santiago, day 2, sunshine and lighter style wines

A cork oak (above) 

So this morning was a conference on lighter-style lower alcohol wines here in Santiago, for the Chilean wine industry. I was one of the speakers. This is a growing category that looks set to get quite big. Only today New Zealand Wine Growers announced a seven-year project researching lighter-style wines with NZ$17 [...]

In Santiago, and to begin with, a Sauvignon Blanc

So, I am in Santiago, Chile. I arrived here this afternoon, after a fairly gruelling flight on an old BA 777 (predictably, the Highlife entertainment system wasn’t working, so I couldn’t watch any films) and then a quick hop over the Andes with LAN Chile. I’m just here for a couple of days to take [...]

Some picture highlights from the Beautiful South tasting

I went to the Beautiful South tasting at Olympia, London, today. It was brilliant. Three countries – South Africa, Argentina and Chile – combined to put on quite a show, with over 300 producers present pouring their wines. The venue was great, with lots of space and lots of natural light. I spent most of [...]

Tunquen: impressive boutique winery from Chile

At last! I have found something high-end and exciting from Chile, after a string of near misses and disappointments.

It’s a new-ish boutique winery, Tunquen. You can find their website here. These wines had something different to most Chilean wines, and I really liked them. The winegrowers here are clearly aiming at elegance, avoiding over-extraction, and [...]