Viñedos de Alcohuaz: superb biodynamic wines from Elqui in Chile

It’s been almost eight years since I visited Elqui, and the bright light and primeval, stunning scenery is still with me today. It’s the perfect place for star gazing because of the lack of light pollution, and the number of clear nights here.

Alcohuaz is a small village high up in the Elqui Valley. Alvaro Flano […]

Caballo Loco No 1 - a piece of modern Chilean history

If you buy lots of wine, then it’s common to overlook bottles, only to encounter them in some nook or cranny of the cellar and think, ‘I should have drunk this sooner.’ Then you go into denial, and because you don’t expect the bottle to be any good, you leave it there neglected. Then you […]

Four affordable, lighter reds for summer smashing

Back to the UK and I’m working through some samples on a balmy summer evening. I’m really into lighter red wines at the moment and these four fit the bill for some summer smashing. And they are affordable, too.

Villa Blanche Piquepoul Noir 2016 IGP Pays l’Herault, France
13% alcohol
£8.49 Waitrose
Part of Calmel and Joseph’s Cepages Anciens […]

Beso Negro el Decadente: a serious red blend from Chile

This wine is the result of a collaboration between winemaker Grant Phelps, and husband and wife team Tunku Soraya Dakhlah and Sharif Majid, who farm the vines and also get stuck in with the winemaking from harvest to labelling. It’s made from organically farmed vines in a small enclave called Santa Ana, in Colchagua.

Santa Ana, […]

J Bouchon Granito Semillon 2016 Maule, Chile

This is a remarkable wine. I tasted it when Tim Atkin brought it along to the International Wine Challenge one morning: he’d opened it the previous evening, and as it was one of his favourite Chilean whites he wanted to share it. I’m glad he did, because it is remarkable. Semillon is a grape that […]

Eduardo Chadwick, Decanter Man of the Year 2018

It was a pleasure to head to the Lanesborough last night for a dinner in honour of Eduardo Chadwick, Decanter Man of the Year 2018. The Decanter Man/Woman of the year award has been running since 1984, and this is the first time Chile has been honoured. I can’t think of a more suitable recipient. […]

Tasting the icons and Pizarras wines from Errazuriz with Francisco Baettig

Francisco Baettig

Yesterday I met with Errazuriz winemaker Francisco Baettig, tasting some new releases. He’s the man behind the ‘icon’ wines of Errazuriz owner Eduardo Chadwick, and also the new venture in coastal Aconcagua, Las Pizarras. In recent years, Francisco has been on a journey which has seen him change the style of the icon […]

Chile, day 3, Viña Errázuriz’s Panquehue winery with Francisco Baettig

Eduardo Chadwick and winemaker Francisco Baettig

The final visit of the first leg of this trip was at Viña Errázuriz’s home base, the winery in Panquehue, Aconcagua Valley, where their Max I vineyard is located. This is home both to the historic Don Maximiano winery, first built in 1870, and also the brand new icon […]

Chile day 3, Viñedo Chadwick

Eduardo Chadwick

Viñedo Chadwick is in the Alto Maipo region of Chile, near Santiago. I visited back in 2008, and there’s an extensive report here. It was originally a family home. ‘It used to be my father’s house since the 1930s,’ says Eduardo Chadwick, who established it as a vineyard as a tribute to his […]

Chile day 2 (continued): Seña

Seña was conceived as a joint venture between Robert Mondavi and Eduardo Chadwick back in 1995. At the time it had no home, but instead was a barrel selection from Errazuriz’s best lots, and the wine was made jointly between Tim Mondavi and Ed Flaherty. Mondavi had experience of joint ventures, most famously with Opus […]