I was recently invited to attend a wonderful wine tasting event. Wines of Chile hosted a Chilean Wine 4.0 Master Class at III Forks in Dallas. We tasted 16 delicious Chilean wines each hand selected by Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein. Evan has a passion for wine education; thus he President and Chief Education Officer of Full Circle Wine Solutions, Inc. To learn more about Full Circle Wines visit their web site. To learn more about Evan Goldstein and his books click here.
The wine tasting class was titled Chilean Wine 4.0: A Transformative Snapshot of a South American Dynamo. Evan began the class with an introduction to the Chilean wine industry, touching on history, its present state and trends; he walked us through the different appellations within Chile including soil and climate, introduced us to the grapes grown throughout the country; then the tasting began. The class was fast paced but very educational and the wines and tapas were excellent. Since we tasted 16 wines I will briefly describe them all and highlight the ones that I enjoyed the most from each flight. However, I want to stress that each of these wines were very high quality and were all enjoyed by all in attendance.
Meet and Greet Reception:
2012 Miquel Torres Santa Digna Estelado Rose Sparkling, Maule Valley: SRP $16.77. Color: light salmon; aroma: floral and light strawberry; flavor: light strawberries, slight citrus; crisp, light, refreshing with good acidity. I really enjoyed these bubbles.
Flight One Reimaged Whites:
2014 Santa Ema Amplus Sauvignon Blanc, Leyda Valley: SRP $15.99. Color: soft gold; aroma: crisp citrus, ripe stone fruit, fresh cut herbs; flavor: soft peaches with lemon/lime zest on back of palate; round acidity, very light.
2009 O. Fournier Alfa Centauri Sauvignon Blanc, Leyda Valley: SRP $37.99. Color: straw; aroma: fresh cut grass, crushed stone; flavor: strong grass and minerals with oak, much different than previous SB
2013 Cono Sur Reserva Especial Sauvignon Bland, Casablanca Valley: SRP $15.00. Color: glistening gold; aroma: invigorating tropical fruit, stone fruit, citrus, elderflower; flavor: grapefruit, pineapple, soft banana, touch of minerality, fresh herbs on back of palate, lingering finish, high acidity; very nice SB
2013 Tabali Talinay Chardonnay, Limari Valley: SRP $ 29.99. Color pale gold; aroma: crisp citrus with a mild earthiness; flavor: soft crisp citrus with clean minerality, combination of power and elegance; aged in 100% French Oak though no evidence on flavor; very clean and nice
2011 Tamaya T Limited Release Chardonnay, LImari Valley: SRP $35.99. Color: pale yellow; aroma: ready to pick orchard; flavor: Granny Smith apples, Bartlett pears, touch of white peaches ending with toasted almonds, creamy, bright acidity, full mouth feel, lingered on palate
My favorite wine from flight one was the 2013 Cono Sur Reserve Especial Sauvignon Blanc from Casablanca Valley.
Flight Two Updated Red Signatures:
2011 Kingston Family Vineyards Alazan Pinot Noir, Casablanca Valley: SRP $32.00. Color: garnet; aroma: restrained red berries, pomegranate, spice and earth; flavor: cherry with spice, some earth characteristics layered with oak; a bit unusual for Pinot Noir; however, not unpleasant
2010 Garcia + Schwaderer Vigno Old Vines Dry Farmed Carignan, Maule Valley: SRP $50.00. Color: deep ruby; aroma: ripe dark berries, baking spice, tobacco; flavor: black cherries, blackberries, black plums, fresh tobacco leaves, spice and lingering black pepper, intense and well balanced
2012 MontGras Ninquen Antu Syrah, Colchagua Valley: SRP $18.99. Color: opaque deep garnet with black highlights; aroma: ripe black berries, old worn leather and spice; flavor: black cherries, plums, blackberry compote, leather bound cigar box lined with cedar (worn leather, tobacco, cedar), lingering hints of green pepper, delicious, well rounded, full body, great acidity
2008 Santa Carolina Herencia Carmenere, Peumo: SRP $75.00. Color: deep rich purple; aroma: rich dark fruit and berries, hint of bell pepper, leather, spice and vanilla; flavor: ripe black cherries, plums, black berries, cranberries, spice, worn leather and a hint of vanilla back palate, round acidity w/well balanced tannins, concentrated fruit with lingering finish
2009 Maquis Viola Carmenere Blend, Colchagua Valley: SRP N/A. Blend: 85% Carmenere, 15% Cabernet Franc; color: deep garnet, aroma: ripe red berries, pepper; flavor: red cherries, raspberries, red plums, touch of pepper with smoky notes; elegantly restrained, concentrated fruit, ripe round tannins well balanced with deep acidity; full mouth, lingering finish
My favorite wines from flight two were 2008 Santa Carolina Herencia Carmenere from Peumo and the 2009 Maquis Viola Carmenere Blend from Colchagua Valley. They were both distinctive and delicious; full-body, well balanced wines that I would certainly enjoy drinking again.
Flight Three Icons and Classics:
2010 Santa Rita Medalla Real Gran Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo Valley: SRP $16.00. Blend: 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc; color: deep ruby; aroma: ripe red fruit, spice, leather, toasted hazelnut; flavor: cherries, plums, pomegranate, spice, toasted hazelnut; fruit forward, medium depth, balanced, round tannins with dry acidity
2011 Emilian Coyam, Colchagua Valley: SRP $36.00. Blend: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Carmenere, 5% Syrah; color: deep ruby with a purple hue; aroma: lush red fruit, mocha, hint of black pepper and toasted walnuts; flavor: ripe cherries, blackberry compote, black pepper, dark chocolate, espresso; nice character, biodynamic, well rounded acidity, lingering finish
2011 Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) Le Dix de Los Vascos, Colchagua Valley: SRP $65.00. Color: opaque garnet; aroma: ripe red fruit, black pepper, spice, vanilla; flavor: cherries, plums, pomegranate, black pepper on finish; smooth and elegant, restrained tannins, round and balanced
2010 Neyen Espritu de Apalta, Apalta Valley: SRP $ 49.99. Blend: 55% Carmenere, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon; color: opaque garnet with purple highlights; aroma: ripe berries and fruit, cassis, black pepper; flavor: strawberries, raspberries, red plums, hints of black pepper, licorice and vanilla; rich and elegant, smooth and well rounded, long and persistent finish; lovely wine
2011 Montes Alpha M Red Blend, Colchagua Valley: SRP $85.00. Blend: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot; color: intense deep garnet, aroma: invigorating of red fruits, mocha, smoke and cassis; flavor: beautifully complex layers of cherries, strawberries, black raspberries and plums with espresso, milk chocolate, licorice, toasted hazelnuts and wet tobacco leaves; very smooth, rich yet restrained tannins beautifully balanced with ripe acidity resulting in fullness of mouth and lasting finish
The truth is all of the last five Bordeaux blends were excellent wines. As you can imagine from reading my descriptions they built in flavor, intensity and smoothness throughout the flight till reaching a wonderful climax with the 2011 Montes Alpha M Red Blend. I recently reviewed a Montes Alpha Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon (see Montes Alpha Pairs Perfectly with Fall) that were quite good; however, the Montes Alpha M Red Blend was extraordinary. I can only imagine how it will improve with age. It would be hard to call it my favorite because they were all soooooo good but since I am picking favorites I will go with the M.
I don’t want to make this article any longer than necessary so I will direct your attention to the very well done Wines of Chile web site to learn more about Chile, wineries, wines being made, climate, soil, history, people, etc. It is a very thorough and educational web site with great graphics and maps. One thing I learned from Evan during our class was SOSA: when shopping Chilean wines “Seek Out San Antonio.” If you are not sure what that means, click this link to learn more!
It was a wonderful event! Thank you to Full Circle Wines and Wines of Chile for including me in this educational and delicious event. I hope to travel to Chile and explore all the wonderful wines and regions someday and provide further insight to each of you on the wines of Chile and why you should be drinking them! In the meantime, please visit the Wines of Chile web site to learn more about all these great wines and wineries, each of the wines in this article are distributed within the US; click here to locate them near you.
My Song Selection: The song I have chosen to pair with these 16 delicious wines and this wonderful tasting experience is Everybody Everybody by Black Box. It is about time Rockin Red picks a dance song don’t you think? This is a fun song; funky, smooth and has a great rhythm. It is the perfect song to pair with the 16 smooth and fresh Chilean wines. Chile is a fun, vibrant country filled with culture and style. I doubt Chileans are stuffy about their wines; rather, I believe they want their wines to celebrated! So get up and dance!
Get your own bottle(s) of any or all of these outstanding Chilean wines and let me know what song you would pair with it. Cheers!