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.