Chile has a long viticultural history for a New World wine region dating to the 16th century when the Spanish conquistadors brought Vitis vinifera vines with them as they colonized the region. In the mid-19th century, French wine varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenère and Cabernet Franc were introduced. In the early 1980s, a renaissance began with the introduction of stainless steel fermentation tanks and the use of oak barrels for aging. Wine exports grew very quickly as quality wine production increased. The number of wineries has grown from 12 in 1995 to over 70 in 2005. Reasons for this sudden expansion varies, but all are essential to understanding Chilean wine culture. The largest factor, and arguably most prominent, relates to the large amount of French families immigrating to Chile during the late 20th century. The French were able to share their fine tastes and experience with the native Chileans, expanding their knowledge of the wine world. Chile is now the fifth largest exporter of wines in the world, and the ninth largest producer. The climate has been described as midway between that of California and France. The most common grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenère.
- Item #: i_383454Bottle Size: 750mlChile is an unsung hero of value wine. "Cota 500," Andes Plateau's Cabernet is sourced from, you guessed it, vineyards at 500 meters (not feet) of altitude. Chewy and spicy with tones of dried chili pepper and dark chocolate Andes Plateau crafts a Cabernet with a deep tannic cut and a liveliness that is rare outside of European wine. It is the perfect wine to pair with slow-cooked beef stews, shredded pork tamales or braised root vegetables.
- Item #: i_378159Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 95The Lapostolle 2016 "Cuvee Alexandre" Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile has the bold flavors, full body, and chewy tannin that you need in a good grilling partner! It's densely flavored with ripe dark fruits and preserves, cocoa, subtle black current leaf and char notes, ending with a firm grip on the thick and juicy finish; a perfect accompaniment to high-protein dishes with bold flavors.
Lapostolle is an impressive Chilean winery with French heritage that was created by Alexandra Lapostolle-Marnier and her husband to make high-quality wines at reasonable prices, while minimizing their impact on the environment. The "Cuvee Alexandre," named for Alexandra's great grandfather who created Grand Marnier, is from an old, oganically farmed vineyard planted in the 1920s in the Colchagua region, whose climate has a lot in common with California's central coast.
Pick up a bottle and give it a decant while your meal is cooking...we think you'll be impressed that it cost less than $20! And for that price, you might consider putting some aside in your wine cooler to try over the coming years...they will reward your patience.
JAMES SUCKLING 95 POINTS - "This is wonderfully polished and refined with a sexy tannin texture that caresses your palate. Medium-to full-bodied and very refined and polished, showing such elegance, focus and roundness. Drinkable now, but better in 2021."
- Item #: i_378489Bottle Size: 750MLA deep inked red purple colour. An expressive and intense nose, ripe black fruit aromas, spicy notes such as black pepper and bitter chocolate. Well integrated oak. Balanced and elegant mouthfeel. Velvety texture. Medium tannins structure with a round mid palate and a long finish. Ideal companion for elaborated dishes such as marinated duck breast and well seasoned angus steak. 96% Carmenere, 4% Merlot.
- Item #: i_379316Bottle Size: 750mlFounded in 1892 by French wine pioneer and ancestor Emilio Bouchon, Casa Silva is now owned by Mario Silva and family - the fifth generation of winemakers. Many of the vines planted are over 90 years old, carried over from Bordeaux, pre-phylloxera, by the first generation. Previously selling their juice to larger, bulk wineries, Casa Silva began a bold, estate bottling program in 1997. Now, the Silva Family are viewed as leaders of the new generation of premium wine producers, and their wines have received international acclaim.
Winemaker's Note - Bright and intense ruby red. On the nose, aromas of black cherries and plums with hints of spices. On the palate, it is round and powerful with sweet soft tannins and balanced acidity. Long finish. Great pairing with a steak and chimichurri sauce, Mexican fajitas, grilled chicken, roasted portobello mushrooms, or a spicy ratatouille.
- Item #: i_382373Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 92Our Wine of the Month #2 for September is the Cousino-Macul winery's Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant red, the "Dama de Plata," coming from high-altitude sites of the Alto Maipo Valley of Chile! The towering Andes mountains provide the needed irrigation in this warm and dry climate, and the higher altitude keeps the ripe-fruited wines from becoming too blousy or flabby.
The delightful "Dama de Plata" has ripe blackcurrant, plum, and balsam aromas and on the medium-weighted palate it's soft and juicy with flavors of ripe, sweet fruit, hints of oak and Cabernet's classic green bell pepper, with an herbal quality in the finish that makes for a balance of fruit and savor.
Chile might be a relatively recent wine region for us, but they have a long history, like much of the Americas, due to Europeans arriving with vines. But the real wine industry took off in the 1800s as mineral mining was generating a lot of wealth; it became popular to travel to France where they fell in love with the finer grape varieties, which they brought back to make better wine. The Cousino-Macul family wine estate was founded in 1856 in this manner: the name "Dama de Plata" (Lady of Silver) refers to the widow Isidora Goyenechea who ran the estate and silver mining business for decades, and their Cabernet clones come from Pauillac in Bordeaux.
JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS - "Cool and savory with just a hint of something vegetal this is a really elegant wine with the vitality you expect of Chile. A long, very clean finish."
85% Cabernet Sauvignon + 10% Malbec + 5% Syrah
- Item #: i_377636Bottle Size: 750mlFresh with a substantial nose offering plenty of dark fruits, some currant and a minty almost hint of menthol. Young, juicy and vibrant with loads of suave tannin, earthy elements and elegant minerals, building into a smooth lingering finish. A Red Blend to enjoy on and off but MOSTLY ON!
Syrah: 52%, Carmenere: 37%, Malbec: 11%
- Item #: i_383917Bottle Size: 750mlNo. 3 Light & Lively
- 78% Pinot Noir, 22% Tempranillo from the Casablanca and Colchagua valleys of Chile
- Estate bottled at Trasiego Wines outside Santiago by husband and wife winemaker team Vincente and Bernardita Johnson
- This unique blend of Chilean Pinot Noir and Tempranillo has vibrant notes of sour cherry, pomegranate, white pepper, and subtle bubblegum. Reminiscent of beaujolais nouveau, light bodied on the palette and very easy drinking, good acidity makes this wine refreshingly easy to come back to!
- Headquartered in the heart of downtown Venice Beach, CA
- Collaborates with small, family owned and operated wineries around the world to produce sustainably farmed, estate grown wines
- All wines are developed using a crowd-sourcing method of style selection where large groups of average wine consumers blind taste dozens of wines and describe their favorites in common vernacular
- The styles are intended to be very easy-drinking, crowd pleasing options that the vast majority of wine consumers will enjoy, not ponder over
- all marketing includes fun hashtags, educational labels, and easy to understand wine-speak to appeal to a wide array of new and often younger generations of wine consumers
- Item #: i_383993Bottle Size: 750mlThe wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks then aged in neutral French oak barrels for 6 months. With low filtration it maintains a balanced amount of tannin, structure and acidity. This creates a wine that has flavors of delicious red fruits like cherries and strawberries.