About Chilean Wine

About Chilean Wine
Chile is today the 10th largest wine producing country in the world. Production is up slightly since 2010, but down a bit since 2012 and 2013. For years much of the wine was produced from the warm Central Valley, which corrected varietally correct, if unexciting whites and reds meant for retail stores.

While these wines still represent a large share of Chile's wine, the industry has made a necessary shift over the past ten years to producing more terroir-driven wines. Dozens of artisan producers in cool climates not far from the Pacific Ocean have planted varieties such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc in greater numbers. In fact, this last variety has produced outstanding results in the San Antonio and Leyda valleys and has been praised my many critics as among the world's finest.

The most recognized Chilean wines, in terms of prestige, are the Cabernet Sauvignons of Maipo Valley, just south and east o the capital city of Santiago, are remarkable New World reds with ripe black currant fruit, good acidity and round, soft tannins. Many of these wines are capable of aging for 15-20 years, while a select few compare favorably with their premium counterparts from Napa Valley in California. However, as Chile does not have as esteemed a reputation as California, the Chilean Cabernets are much more reasonable priced.

Given the ideal climatic conditions throughout Chile -ample sunshine along with moderating breezes form the ocean and Andes, it stand to reason that Chilean wines will only improve in the future

Top Picks for Chile

Denada 2016  Cabernet Sauvignon
95 points
$7.99
Best Buy
Dark dusty garnet color. Aromas of cumin, toasted walnut, marinated beef, and cedar with an fat body and an intricate, medium-long blackberry thicket, pink peppercorns, smoked tea, and minerals finish with leafy, woody, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A complex and substantial Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon with surprising depth, terroir and nuance; this could easily pass for a second growth Bordeaux.
95 points $7.99 Best Buy
Paskua Land 2014 Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
94 points
$9.99
Best Buy
Dusty dusty ruby color. Fruity aromas of charred green pepper, star anise, balsamic reduction, and fig paste with a slightly chewy, lively, dryish medium-full body and a medium-length chocolate covered espresso bean, fresh mint, rosemary, and black pepper and smoked vanilla finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and light oak. A juicy wine that begs another sip.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Chilean Red Wine
94 points $9.99 Best Buy
In Situ 2016 Riverside White Blend Aconcagua Valley
94 points
$11
Best Buy
Yellow color. Fruity, umami aromas and flavors of green apple, lemon-lime, pear, and vanilla with a soft, bright, dry medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, medium-long finish with a suggestion of oak. A full-bodied white food wine with excellent structure.
Awards: 2017 Best Chilean White Wine
94 points $11 Best Buy
Casas del Toqui 2016 Barrel Series Carmenere
93 points
$17.99
Best Buy
Dull garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of toasty blueberry handpie, grilled veggies, eucalyptus, and violet with a velvety, crisp, fruity medium body and a silky, amusing, medium-length grilled watermelon and grenadine finish with medium, silky tannins and no oak. A silky Carmenère with a touch of sweetness; perfect for spicy fare.
93 points $17.99 Best Buy
Bottero 2013 Syrah Capicua Blend Cachapoal Valley
93 points
$19.99
Best Buy
Ruby black color. Savory aromas and flavors of olives, roasted pepper, sundried cherries and tomatoes, and hint of braised meat with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, layered, medium-long borscht and vanilla nuts finish with silky tannins and light oak. A delightfully flavorful and savory red blend that will be great with dinner.
Awards: '2017 World Value Wine Challenge-Top 10 Red Wine $20 and Under' Best Value Chilean Other Chilean Red
93 points $19.99 Best Buy
Sierras de Bellavista 2015 Single Vineyard Merlot
93 points
$9.99
Best Buy
Dusty garnet black color. Mature aromas of rose scented black tea, forest floor, soy-ginger glazed Chinese sausage, and white pepper and ripe red watermelon with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dry medium-full body and a peppery, nuanced, medium-long cherry and dried chipotle pepper, anise and blood orange, raspberry jam filled dark chocolate, and sautéed mushrooms finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. This Bordeaux inspired red from Chile will be a knockout at a dinner party.
Awards: 2017 Top 6 Best Merlot
93 points $9.99 Best Buy
In Situ 2015 Spaghetti Red Blend Aconcagua Valley
93 points
$11
Best Buy
Dusty garnet black color. Herbal aromas of lavender, rosemary, menthol, and sour cherry with a slightly chewy, vibrant, fruity medium body and a peppery, interesting, medium-length cherry mostarda, toast points, savory basil, and chocolate orange and vanilla creme Anglaise finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak. An elegant and mature red for great meals.
93 points $11 Best Buy
Balduzzi 2014 Estate Bottled Gran Reserve Maule Valley
93 points
$18.99
Best Buy
Black violet color. Aromas of prune, speck, blackberry preserve, and chopped green onion with a chewy, lively, dry-yet-fruity full body and a warming, interesting, medium-long smoked duck pate, rosemary and black olive, mocha, and fine leather and tobacco finish with firm, grippy tannins and moderate oak. A rich and long-lasting Cabernet for any steak.
93 points $18.99 Best Buy
Tricyclo 2017 Cabernet Blend Colchagua Valley
92 points
$12.99
Best Buy
Dull garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of dried berries, bbq rub and woods, honey roasted green pepper, and hint of clay and wax with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, appealing, long spiced craisins and currants, cocoa dusted nuts, and vanilla cream finish with soft, well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. A nuanced and effortlessly drinkable Chilean red blend that charms and entices.
92 points $12.99 Best Buy
Tricyclo 2017 Malbec Blend Colchagua Valley
92 points
$12.99
Best Buy
Bright deep purple color. Spicy, attractive aromas and flavors of chocolate mint cookie, spiced blueberries and black raspberries in cream, hint of alpine herbs and menthol, and root vegetables and sandalwood incense with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a tingling, complex, long pomegranate, chocolate tangerine peel, and ground nuts finish with chewy, fine tannins and moderate oak. A deliciously spicy and herbal malbec-forward red blend that will appeal to Aussie shiraz fans.
92 points $12.99 Best Buy