Chilean Red Wine

Chile is probably the biggest success story in the world of wine in the last ten years. There's a vast array of inexpensive Chilean wine everywhere, but the quality varies enormously. It's vineyards stretch over seven hundred miles north to south in a series of lush valleys between the Andes and the Coastal Ranges. Just like California, and with a very similar climate, Chile's vineyards are more affected by their location east to west between two mountain ranges, rather than north to south. Whereas east facing slopes of the Coastal Ranges receive less rainfall and warmer temperatures, the best vineyards are sited on the west facing slopes of the Andes, which benefit from cool night time temperatures producing high levels of acidity and good concentration of fruit.

Like Argentina, Chile is capable of producing some world class reds, and some whites too, most noticeably Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. If you avoid the mass produced low end brands it's possible to find some exceptional wines which are fantastic value for money.
 
 

Undurraga Aliwen Reserva Pinot Noir 2015 75cl

Vina Undurraga is a fairly big quality winery dating back to 1885, now practicing sustainable farming. They make different tiers of wines including some single vineyard offerings. In general they tend to be good quality and fairly low in sulphites for factory produced wines. We have selected some of their Reserva and Gran Reserva wines which we feel are good value.

This Pinot Noir is from their Reserva "Aliwen" range.

Pale ruby with a cherry nose. Very soft and fruity in the mouth with light oak. It's light and silky and very enjoyable. Certainly one of the best quality to price Chilean Pinots I've discovered.

60% Lomas de Leyda Estate, Leyda Valley,40% Codigua and Santa Ana Estates, coastal area of the Maipo Valley.

After a rigorous selection process, the clusters were destemmed and the grapes were delicately crushed.

Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at a temperature of between 25oC and 27oC for 5-7 days. The wine remained in contact with the grape skins for an additional 5 days after the fermentation was complete.

Aging: The malolactic fermentation took place in second- and third-use French and American oak barrels, in which the wine was aged for six months.

Undurraga Website

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Price: £10.00



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Undurraga Aliwen Reserva Pinot Noir 2015 75cl
 
 

Undurraga Sibaris Gran Reserva Pinot Noir 2014 75cl

Vina Undurraga is a fairly big quality winery dating back to 1885, now practicing sustainable farming. They make different tiers of wines including some single vineyard offerings. In general they tend to be good quality and fairly low in sulphites for factory produced wines. We have selected some of their Reserva and Gran Reserva wines which we feel are good value.

This single vineyard Pinot Noir is from their Gran Reserva "Sibaris" range, and comes from the Leyda Valley.

Deep ruby in colour with good legs and a dusty nose. Big raspberry and cherry fruit which isn't overpowered by the oak. In fact it has fairly light body for a Gran Reserva. It's very smooth with good acidity, all components of the wine in perfect balance which is not necessarily common with Chilean Gran Reserva wines. Very good wine for the price, and my favourite of their Sibaris range.

The grapes were hand-harvested into 12-kilo bins. The clusters and individual grapes were sorted on selection tables. The grapes were then gravity-fed into the vat where the fermentation was to take place. The grapes were destemmed and gently crushed and then underwent a cold pre-fermentative maceration at 7°C for 3 to 5 days.

Fermentation: The temperature was increased to 15°C and selected yeasts were injected into the must to provoke fermentation at a temperature of between 24°C and 26°C for a period of 5 - 7 days. Punching down and smooth pump-overs were used each day to gently submerge the skins in the fermenting juice in order to extract colour and volume. Once the alcoholic fermentation was complete, a post-fermentative maceration took place for a period of between 3 and 10 days. Then the wine was matured in oak The soils are of granitic origin and contain varying amounts of clay. The vineyards are situated on gente slopes with differing levels of exposure.

The vineyard is situated just 13km in a direct line from the sea, so the climate is significantly influenced bye the Pacific Ocean. During the ripening period, the mornings are often damp and the afternoons and evenings are cool with moderate maximum temperatures. This helps ensure slow ripening, safeguarding the fruit's aromas and flavours and the resulting wines are particularly fresh.

Undurraga Website

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Undurraga Sibaris Gran Reserva Pinot Noir 2014 75cl
 
 

Undurraga Sibaris Gran Reserva Carmenere 2014 75cl

Vina Undurraga is a fairly big quality winery dating back to 1885, now practicing sustainable farming. They make different tiers of wines including some single vineyard offerings. In general they tend to be good quality and fairly low in sulphites for factory produced wines. We have selected some of their Reserva and Gran Reserva wines which we feel are good value.

This Carmenere is from their Gran Reserva "Sibaris" range, and comes from the Colchagua Valley.

The grapes were hand-harvested. Then they were destemmed and gently crushed. 30% of the grapes were left whole, without crushing. Finally, the must was chilled and macerated with the skins prior to fermentation, at a temperature of 5º C for 3 to 5 days.

Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at temperatures which varied between 28ºC and 30ºC for a period of 7 days. Then it was macerated with the skins for an additional 10 to 14 days. All of the wine was aged in French oak barrels for 12 months in order to improve its structure and make the tannins softer and more complex.

The Carménère variety originated in Bordeaux, France, disappeared in the nineteenth century and has now been rediscovered in Chile. This wine is made from grapes from our vineyards in the Colchagua Valley. This wine has a deep violet-red colour. Exuberant aromas of black cherries, ripe plums, wild berries and blueberries mix with spicy notes, such as black pepper, rosemary, boldo and bay laurel. On The palate is soft, concentrated and complex,with a pleasant silkiness and notes of spice and fruit, and offers a delicate yet persistent finish. This wine is an ideal accompaniment for red meat, poultry, pasta and fish. It is also excellent with typical Chilean cuisine, such as sweetcorn pie, sweetcorn parcels and meat pasties.

Undurraga Website

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Undurraga Sibaris Gran Reserva Carmenere 2014 75cl
 
 

Undurraga Sibaris Gran Reserva Merlot 2014 75cl

Vina Undurraga is a fairly big quality winery dating back to 1885, now practicing sustainable farming. They make different tiers of wines including some single vineyard offerings. In general they tend to be good quality and fairly low in sulphites for factory produced wines. We have selected some of their Reserva and Gran Reserva wines which we feel are good value.

This Merlot is from their Gran Reserva "Sibaris" range, and comes from the Maipo Valley.

Deep ruby/purple. Good legs and a nose of red fruits. Full and velvety in the mouth with red fruit flavours, some oak and a little pepper on the finish.

The grapes were hand-harvested from 25-year-old vines into 500-kilo bins. They were then destemmed and gently crushed. The must was cooled and macerated with the skins prior to fermentation, at a temperature of 5º C for a period of 3 to 5 days.

Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at temperatures which varied between 28ºC and 30ºC for a period of 7 to 10 days. Next the must was macerated with the skins for 7-10 days. This wine was aged in French oak barrels for 10 months.

This wine was made with 100% Merlot grapes grown on our Santa Ana Estate in the Maipo Valley. The grapes were harvested at optimum ripeness and then selected for this wine. The wine is intense red in colour with violet hues. The aromas are fresh and bursting with fruit, such as blackberries and blueberries, intermingled with spices, like black pepper and cloves. On the palate has medium-structured with rounded tannins and rich in fruit flavours. This wine pairs well with meat, spicy casserole dishes, pasta and cheese.

Undurraga Website

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Price: £11.99



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Aresti Estates Family Collection Blend Rio Claro 2010 75cl

93 Points Descorchados

91 Points James Suckling

90 Points Wine Enthusiast

IWSC Outstanding Silver

Please note this is a library photo of the Carmenere. This blend has fantastic presentation - it looks similar but is in an even larger heavy weight bottle.

Made up of 45% Syrah, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot. Made from hand picked grapes, aged for 18 months in French oak. This wine is a brand new release for Aresti and is the premium wine of the estate. It's stunningly good! Purple colour with ruby hints, with a big nose. Intense fruit flavours on the palate balanced by the oak, with a little white pepper, and vanilla on the finish. It's very very smooth, full in the mouth with a very long finish. It also doesn't really need to breathe, it can be opened and enjoyed almost instantly - rare for such a big wine. It's very good indeed but also rare with limited availability.

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Aresti Estates Trisquel Assemblage 2013 75cl

90 Points Descorchados

This is a lovely blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Petit Verdot from the Colchagua Valley. Each variety was handpicked then after fermentation was aged in both American and French oak for between 8 and 12 months. Then the final "assemblage" was put together.

Flavours of black fruit with hints of coffee. Medium bodied, soft and smooth. Ideal to partner with lamb, pork or turkey.

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Aresti Estates Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 75cl

89 Points Descorchados

87 Points James Suckling

This is a great limited production wine from the Curico Valley. Selected vines were hand harvested with gentle destemming by hand. 20% of the grapes were fermented in French oak. The resulting wine is superb, really showcasing Chile's value for money. I was very impressed with the quality, even more so when I found out the price. Being a hand made, limited production wine it's also very low in free sulphur. It's deep ruby red, hinting at at what's to come! A strong nose with fruit, eucalyptus and a little spice. On the palate it has rich fruit flavours with a full mouthfeel and good body. Very very smooth with a long lingering finish. A great example of Cab Sauv at a super price. Beautiful on it's own, even better with food.

Aresti Website

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Price: £9.25



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Aresti Estates Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 75cl
 
 

Aresti Estates Reserva Carmenere 2013 75cl

Another great wine from Aresti under their limited release label, this time from Chile's signature red grape. They really do offer super value for money.

Deep purple in colour with big legs sticking to the side of the glass. Lively nose of black fruits too. On the palate it is very soft and smooth with black fruit flavours and a long finish with noticeable integrated oak from 12 months in barrel. Enjoy this wine with game, red meat or cheese.

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Price: £9.25



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Aresti Estates Reserva Carmenere 2013 75cl
 
 

Aresti Estates Reserva Merlot 2013 75cl

James Suckling 90 Points

Yet another great wine from Aresti under their limited release label. This Merlot really impressed me for the money.

Ruby in colour. On the palate it is big with bags of fruit, and silky smooth with vanilla on the finish. This wine is great value!

Aresti Website

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Price: £9.25



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Aresti Estates Reserva Merlot 2013 75cl
 
 

Aresti Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 75cl

Another delicious wine from Aresti ideal for every day drinking at this price. Again the grapes were hand harvested and aged in French and American oak. Also low in sulphur so Jane could drink it without any reaction - a lot of Chilean wines are comparatively high in free sulphur so we were both delighted and surprised to find one at this price point which was so low. Smooth, good fruit flavours with medium body, well balanced with a dryish finish. Simply good every day wine, well made and at a great price.

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Price: £7.99



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Aresti Estates Carmenere 2012 75cl

Great value wine yet again from Aresti. Ruby in colour with legs sticking to the glass. Black fruits on the nose and juicy blackberry flavours on the palate too. Soft and smooth, slightly spicey with a little oak on the finish. Good body and structure making this a very good wine for the money. Enjoy with the Sunday roast or good cheese.

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Aresti Estates Merlot 2013 75cl

Great value Merlot.

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Aresti Estates Merlot 2013 75cl