More recently, though, the face of Chilean
wine has been changing due to a growing number of boutique wineries. These wines are full of
life and soul. Also, many large-scale wineries
are developing site-specific appellation wines
with interesting nuances from the terroir. These
modern creations come in a wide range of price
points, from easy-drinking everyday wines to
beautiful wines with finesse and the ability to
age for years.
In my tastings, I found that Chilean red
wines were excellent, featuring clean, ripe, fresh
berry fruit, spicy notes, and luscious and beautiful textures. The white wines were equally terrific: fresh, crisp and lively.
The carménères offered charming red berry
aromas and a refreshing floral hint of violets.
The cabernet sauvignons are full-bodied, with
fruity ripe blackberry and cherry notes and a
thread of vanilla from oak barrels. Among the
white wines, I found the sauvignon blancs clean
and crisp, with notes of citrus lemon and lime
zest. Chardonnay grapes, planted on limestone
and clay soils, deliver a pretty minerality, with
white floral and perfectly ripe pear notes and
fresh, medium acidity.
Argentina: The new malbecs
Ample sunshine (;;; days a year), little
rain, large day-to-night temperature shifts and
unique soil conditions create perfect conditions
for malbec in Argentina. Growers there are
often asked, “What’s the next big thing?”
“Running the length
of South America,
the [Andes] mountains
create unique climates
on both sides, which
winemakers have taken
advantage of to produce
some wonderful wines.”
; ANNETTE ALVAREZ;PETERS
The lush wine country of Casablanca Valley, Chile.
Malbec is king in Argentina, so why
change? The answer is better malbec. Indeed,
wineries throughout the country are working
on just that, constantly researching to find the
perfect plots to grow malbec.
Targeting high quality and freshness, winemakers are spreading out from the traditional
growing areas in the popular Mendoza region
to higher altitudes and single-vineyard wines.
These new malbecs are juicy, with rich, ripe
black and blue berry fruit. They’re especially
appreciated for their complex, beautiful velvety textures.
But don’t bypass lesser-known wines from
Argentina. The country’s cabernet sauvignons
are complex, with dark berry fruit, cassis, cedar
and tobacco notes. Torrontés is a refreshing
white wine varietal with fresh and lively floral
perfume notes with ripe fresh peaches and
stone fruit. And Argentinian chardonnay
features balanced fruit and oak, with fresh
apple and pear tones and lively acidity.
Try the latest from these two fabulous
South American wine-producing countries.
You’ll find something fresh and new, at an
affordable price point.