This time we explore the South American nation of Chile, a long strip of land almost a thousand kilometres long but rarely more than a hundred wide. With the Pacific ocean on one side, most of this region experiences a Maritime climate, but variations exist due to latitudinal differences, with warmer regions near the Equator and cooler areas in the south.
Flavor Intensity: Medium
Readiness/Cellaring: Drink now, do not cellar
Identity: Chile / Casablanca Valley / Sauvignon Blanc
Price: Inexpensive (~$9)
Long, fast tears
Aromas of passionfruit, lychee, capsicum
Flavours of passionfruit, green apple, honeysuckle, almond peel, capsicum
Clean and refreshing
Slight bitterness on finish
Vaguely waxy texture
Nostalgia for Summer
Salad or charcuterie
Sauvignon Blanc has garnered a reputation due in no small part to New Zealand, who have successfully presented it as a fresh, aromatic and easy to drink style of wine. A number of regions have tried to capitalise on this success by focusing on the same varietal, and this is partially why I wanted to try this example from Chile. It’s relatively low price point was a bonus.
Previously regarded as a source of cheap wines, in recent years Chile has shown initiative in wanting to expand the international appeal of their wines, which has been helped by international investment in the past few decades. With greater emphasis on international varietals in the future Chilean wines could very possibly position themselves as the choice for quality and affordability. I would definitely recommend the keen wine aficionado to pay attention to any wine developments in Chile.
While it seemed to face the same direction in terms of aroma and flavour character, it was good to find this Chilean example being slightly more restrained than many New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc I’ve encountered before. For the price I wouldn’t expect too much differentiation, and I wouldn’t fault the producer for sticking to a formula that works and has mass appeal.
Perhaps there is an element of subjectivity as well. We’re well into Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere, arguably missing the right timing for such a wine, but for people waxing nostalgic for the previous Summer a slightly restrained yet bright wine would fill the gap nicely.
This particular tasting is just another reminder that price isn’t everything. With so much choice and diversity on offer, all you need is a little knowledge to pick a perfectly good wine without worrying about budget.
P.S. – Did you know I’m now offering personalised wine consults? Know your palate and what to look for, and pick some good wines today!
Read more: Rational Wine Experiment – The Price Tasting