10 good reds and whites from Chile.
In many ways, the Chilean wine industry is similar to that of California: Both rely largely on Bordeaux varieties for red wines and chardonnay for whites; both have hot interiors and foggy coastal areas; and both have long experience is producing both affordable everyday wines and more complex, longer-lived “serious” ones.
Here is a selection from two primary producers: premium Alcance wines from a producer owned by California-based Jackson Family Wines and the Casillero del Diablo and Ribera lines of less expensive wines from the venerable Concha y Toro wineries.
Concha y Toro Casillerodel Diablo Chardonnay 2015 ($9).
Full and round with lots of apples, some citrus notes, and a crisp finish.
Concha y Toro Ribera delRapel Colchagua Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2015($17).
Very weedy aromas and flavors — intense green — with medium body and good acidity.
Concha y Toro Casillerodel Diablo Carmenère Reserva 2014($9).
Tart fruitiness with some vanilla notes.
Concha y Toro Casillerodel Diablo Malbec 2014($9).
Crisp and lean but with lots of cherry fruit in the finisè.
Concha y Toro Ribera delTinguiriricaMarchigueCabernet Sauvignon 2014($17).
Big, harmonious, rich, and juicy, with an almost sweet fruitiness, but also assertive, with good acidity.
Concha y Toro Ribera del Cachapoal Peumo Carmenère 2014 ($17).
Modest red fruits, with some spice, green olive, and cherry-stem notes — quite nice for this style of wine.
Alcance Valle de Maule Merlot Gran Reserva 2014($20).
Somewhat plump, with red raspberry flavors, a little cream, and a savory finish.
Alcance Valle de Maule Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2014 ($24).
Ripe and juicy, but still some old-style green savory notes plus good tannins and nice finishing acidity.
AlcanceVigno Valle de Maule Old Vines Carignan 2013 ($34).
Very fresh with lots of spicy red fruits, some hints of oak, and a good finish — a red-berry wine.
Alcance “Bravura” Valle de Maipo Proprietary Red Wine 2013 ($50).
A concentrated Bordeaux blend with enjoyable dark chocolate and cherry flavors and a hint of vanilla oak in the finish.
By: Roger Morris