Chilean Red Blend over £10
San Pedro 1865 Limited Edition 2008, Cachapoal
Red blends are an exciting category in Chile right now, for several reasons. Firstly, as Chile’s varietal diversity has boomed in recent years, the palette of flavours at winemakers’ disposal has increased significantly.
Secondly, blending is an art that takes many years to perfect – and with each passing vintage, you get the sense that Chile’s modern winemakers are getting better and better at crafting wines that are more than just the sum of their parts.
This wine is a fine example of a blend in which not only do the varieties blend seamlessly but the terroir shines through too. The wine is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon with 35% Syrah grown in San Pedro’s vineyards in Totihue, Cachapoal, in the lee of the Andean foothills. It’s a classic sub-Andean terroir: colluvial stony soils with warm days and cool nights, ideal for both Cabernet and Syrah.
The Cabernet here gives big-boned structure and sturdy grip; the Syrah adds juiciness and a peppery lift. Infusing it all is the classic resinous, dried-fruit hints and savoury herbal notes typical of the eastern piedmont of the Central Valley. It’s a decidedly bold, rich style of wine, but one that carries its style off supremely well.
San Pedro is another of Chile’s revitalised producers. One of the country’s largest wineries, it has expanded ambitiously under the guidance of winemaker Marco Puyo and now has a consistency and diversity in its range that places it firmly in Chile’s top division of wine producers.