Monday, June 17, 2013

Three 'Wines from Chile'--All screw-top bottles and ready for the Summer! by Philip S. Kampe

Chile has recently grown into a powerhouse wine production country.
Thanks to the world's top technology and world class winemakers, supported by international and indigenous grape varietals, Chile has become the poster boy representing a true wine success story.

In fact, Puro Chile at 221 Centre Street, in Chinatown (NYC) opened an office many years ago to promote the products and the land of Chile. Seminars, wine tastings, food tastings--all events are fully-booked and promoted so well that the unusual location has only met with success.

Location, Location, Location means nothing when you have the 'Best' products. 221 Centre street has proven that.

Recently I sampled many 'Wines from Chile' and have three recommendations that fill both the quality and price restrictions that we look for. Since it is summer, I, also looked for bottles that were screw-top, making wines for a picnic or other outdoor events more desirable.

My choices:
85% Carmenere
15% Syrah
When I opened this 13% alcohol, salmon colored wine and took my first sample, I knew that I had discovered an unusual, rather intense rose that had numerous red wine characteristics. Maybe it was the rich soil or mountain water from the Andes mountains nearby or the 65 year old vines that were planted in the land from the Apalta region of the Colchagua Valley, I am not sure.
The end result was a very pleasing, smooth, long lingering rose that was a bit spicy with citrus notes on the palate. The aromatics of strawberry and fig prevailed and seduced me.

COMO SUR Bicicleta 2012
100% Viognier
I am partial when I find a good Viognier at a fair, or in this case, a very reasonable price. This 13.5% alcohol driven wine is a wine that gives only pleasure to those who are drinking it. It is a wine made for odd food pairings-- stir-fry food, creamy meat dishes, felafel and pasta.
When I opened the bottle, apricot and peach engulfed my nose followed by a faint scent of honeydew melon. My first sip sang with grapefruit, pineapple and green apple. The wine was extra dry, concentrated and had a lengthy finish with mineral notes.

VIU MANENT Gran Reserva 2011
100% Chardonnay
Casablanca Valley
In 2012 Robert Parker wrote, " VIU MANENT is the very model of consistency as all of its wines can be recommended and several off exceptional value". Need I say more?
The Gran Reserva 2011 Chardonnay is one of those wines. Aged for six months in French oak barrels and 14.5% alcohol, help make this big, bold bright yellow-green wine a real powerhouse house of a Chardonnay.The tannins are soft and create a near perfect balance between the oak and the fruit. I believe this wine is elegant and a true standout.

Philip S. Kampe

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