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_385004Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 94JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "A rich and dense second wine of VIK. Lots of dried fruit with light prunes, plums and hints of burnt lemons. Spices, too. Full body, layered and rich. Juicy. Needs two or three years to soften. A blend of 66% cabernet sauvignon, 15% merlot, 7% cabernet franc, 7% syrah and 3% carmenere. Drink in 2020."