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. Eduardo has almost single-handedly put Chilean fine wine on the map, and he’s universally liked and respected within the trade. The turn out last night was astonishing: so many famous faces from around the world of wine.
Every emerging wine country needs its own champions and heroes: wineries who punch above their weight and are tireless in reaching out to tell the rest of the world what they are doing, and who have a compelling story to tell. Not only do they benefit from this, but also the other ambitious wineries are able to then follow in the wake of the pioneer(s). When it comes to establishing a country or a region, it isn’t just about making good wine. It’s also about changing pre-conceptions, and getting the message out. Journalists also need good stories and personalities to communicate.
I visited his various ventures in Chile just over a year ago, and my write-ups are here:
These were the two top wines of the evening:
Seña 1996 Aconcagua Valley, Chile
This was the second vintage of Seña, and it weighs in at 12.5% alcohol. 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Carmenere. Mature and quite spicy with some mint and attractive black fruits. Fresh with nice definition and notes of spice and earth. This has developed very well and is now in a mellow maturity, holding up very nicely. Real precision here. 94/100
Viñedo Chadwick 2000 Puente Alto, Maio Valley, Chile
100% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.2% alcohol. Second vintage of this wine. Lush, sweet, aromatic black fruits nose. Brooding and sweet with some tobacco and herb notes. Supple, sweet and seductive with lovely blackberry and blackcurrant fruit, and a hint of saltiness. Seductive and fine with a ripe, liqueur-like fruit profile. Has aged really nicely: regarded as a difficult vintage in Chile because it was cooler, but it has made a lovely wine. 93/100