Chilean organic wine tasting report: exciting organic Carmenere wines & more

Posted on 18 September, 2016 by Dimitri Safonov | 0 comments

Organic wine tasting - Chilean wines

Today Chile celebrates its National Day and it is not surprising we've hosted our organic wine tasting dedicated to Chilean wines yesterday. It is time now to report on the findings and customer feedback.

As a main event we have offered 3 organic wines: Chardonnay, Carmenere and a blend of Syrah Mourvedre. Having now our own Coravin device also allowed us to offer additional tasting samples of a few Chilean organic wines we have on our Everyday Tasting table.

It was great to hear our customer's feedback - a very varied response with some people who actually visited the country did not know they did any organic wines at all, some had indicated that Chilean wines in their mind are of good quality and very good value. It was proven by a very reasonable price point - all the wines we've offered yesterday were below £13 a bottle. Our tasters agreed that the country offers a very diverse array of flavours - we've offered both fresh examples of organic Carmenere and also aged and mature one.

Let's talk more about organic wines that were on offer: 

Novas Chardonnay Gran Reserva

Made by arguably the largest organic producer in the world - Emilliana vineyards, this wine belongs to their mid-range if you look at the brands they produce. Adobe is their entry level wines and Novas with its rather attractive labelling is a step up. Most of these wines were aged a bit more and hence most of them are proudly labelled as Gran Reserva. Please note that it is not the same as Spanish Gran Reserva style, in Chile it doesn't have a specific ageing requirements, but mostly an indication of a more mature wine.

The grapes for this wine come from Chile's cool Casablanca Valley. It's got plenty of tropical fruit volume with a crisp, citrus finish that makes it especially good as a partner to fish soup.

Alcohol: 14% abv

Novas Chardonnay is creamy and velvety with balanced acidity and greater depth. This ripe and balanced wine pairs perfectly with grilled sea bass skewers, crab dishes and chicken with sautéed vegetables.

Ventopuro 2014 Carmenere

These guys had a different goal in mind - how to break the stigma of Chilean wines to be rather sweet, rich and sometimes jammy. They have set a target to make their wines as fresh as possible without losing its roundness and smoothness.

This wine is a great example of their successful work. It has intense aromas of mature red fruits, chocolate and spiced notes. On the palate it has a good concentration and velvety tannins. Yet it is fresh (yet not thin) and juicy without major sweet notes.

This organic red wine is perfect with pasta, white and red meats.

This wine is made from 100% Carmenere grape, now establishing itself as a ‘signature’ variety for Chile. The grapes were hand-picked between the 25th April and 2nd of May with a production no larger than 9.000 kgs/ha. Once crushed, the grapes had cold maceration in tanks for 5 days at 10°C. Fermentation took place at a controlled temperature (28°C) in stainless steel tanks for over 7 days, where daily gentle pumping over with air was applied. After the alcoholic fermentation, a maceration (post fermentation) was done for 5 days. Half of the wine volume was aged in French oak for 6 months.

The grapes for this single vineyard wine come from 15 year old vines located in the Colchagua Valley, 150km south of Santiago.

Las Ninas 2014 Syrah Mourvedre

A classic Rhône blend from Syrah and Mourvedre made in Chile in Colchagua Valley. You can imagine how boring it can be for a winemaker to produce wine from the same variety and then to have a reaction like 'Ah, yes, Chilean Carmenere... another one yet again...", they clearly aimed to produce something different here. These guys have taken two popular French varieties (think Cotes du Rhone) and made an experiment with them in Chile.

Yet again this has proven how versatile is Chilean viticultural scene - the dark, spicy Syrah blended to perfection with the fruit forward Mourvèdre delivered robust flavours and also with an abundant blueberry elegance.

This wine has a noticeable sweet edge to it - the fruit is ripe and bursting with flavours.

Chilean organic wines: the verdict

Plums, spice, sometimes chocolate - are definitely attractive flavours of Chilean Carmenere. You can find these wines sometimes jammy, but we've proven to our customers that they can be fresh, spicy and delicate too. Whatever is your style we encourage to taste, explore and discover something new. We stock quite a few more Chilean organic wines that are made of Syrah, Carignan, Sauvignon Blanc and powerful blends like Carmenere - Cabernet Sauvignon, so you have some options to try and taste these wines yourself.

It is true that Chile offers a lot of value and produces straightforward, fresh and uncomplicated white wines, but also a very large array of fresh to more robust organic red wines from native Carmenere, International and classic French varieties.

Explore delicious organic wines and let us know what you think!



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