The South American Wine Selection
Wine Selection Tasting Notes
Join Jenny on her wine journey from Chile to Argentina.
Glass at the ready, we’re off to the Andes!
Aves del Sur Merlot Rosé 2019
Region: D.O. Valle del Loncomilla
First stop is the Maule Valley, 3 hours drive to the south of the capital, Santiago de Chile. The Pedregal family, originally from Asturias, Spain, first planted vines in 1825. The wines are named after bird species that live in the south of Chile. Made from Merlot grapes this dry rosé is a pretty Flamingo pink, with notes of fresh raspberry, cherry and lime. Great as an apéritif on a sunny spring day.
Aves del Sur Winemaker’s Selection Chardonnay 2018
Region: D.O. Valle del Loncomilla
We stay in the Maule in the Loncomilla Valley where the climate is hot and dry with cooling influences from the Pacific ocean. Forget overly oaky Chardonnays of the past! Chilean Chardonnays are the best kept secret. This Chardonnay has delicious ripe notes of tropical pineapple, mango and banana with well balanced acidity. Pair with grilled salmon and Chilean pastel de choclo (corn pie).
Casas del Bosque Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2018
Region: Valle de Casablanca
Grape: Sauvignon Blanc
Next stop is to the north of Santiago de Chile, to breathe in the sea mist in the Casablanca Valley by the Pacific Ocean. During the morning the vineyards are shrouded by mist that rolls in from the icy, inky blue Pacific. Because of its proximity to the ocean this region is perfect for growing fresh, aromatic varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is an explosion of crisp citrus fruit, elderflower and gooseberry. Great with ceviche, crab, scallops and prawns.
Casas del Bosque Reserva Carménère 2018
Region: Valle de Rapel
We leave the north and head to Cachapoal within the Rapel Valley. The valley runs from the Pacific to the Andes and is perfect for ripening Carménère where it thrives. In the late 19th century, Merlot cuttings were taken to Chile from Bordeaux and planted in Chilean vineyards. In 1994 it was discovered that these vines were in fact Carménère! Carménère adapted fantastically to its new home and makes a rounded, well balanced wine with blackcurrant, black cherry, black pepper, tobacco and chocolate aromas. Perfect with steak, roast beef and juicy meat dishes.
Sol de Mayo Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon
Leaving Chile we take the dramatic one hour flight over the snow capped Andes to the city of Mendoza, an oasis surrounded by vineyards. Closest to Mendoza, Maipú is the most traditional area where vines were first planted and flood irrigation is still used to this day. The sun symbol represents the Inca Sun God, Inti and can be found on the Argentine flag. This wine is packed with berry fruit, spice and pepper. Enjoy with pizza, pasta, BBQ meat.
Agostino Finca Malbec 2018
Region: Maipú (Barrancas) & Uco Valley (La Consulta)
With a stunning Andes backdrop, grapes are grown both in Maipú and the Uco Valley for this wine. Malbec, originally from Cahors, France, has like Carménère, adapted very well to its new home. Altitude is key here to retain acidity and bring the best out of the Malbec grape. Malbec, meaning “bad mouth” in French, should possibly be renamed to “Bonbec” as it is no longer a difficult, tart, unripe grape to grow! Velvety black cherry, plum, violet and bitter chocolate in a glass. Easy drinking and perfect with steak and Argentine empanadas (mini beef pasties).
¡Salud y buen viaje!
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