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Chile: 15 award-winning wines from the south

‘The south is the future for Chile’ says Peter Richards MW, Decanter World Wine Awards 2020 Regional Chair for Chile. Tasted and rated by the expert DWWA judges last August, discover which wines performed best...

The wine history of Southern Chile, particularly the regions of Bío Bío and Itata – one of the country’s oldest wine-growing regions – dates back hundreds of years, yet it is only more recently that the regions of the south are gaining increased recognition, particularly for dry-farmed vineyards and old vines.

‘We’ve tried some wonderful wines from the likes of Malleco, Bío Bío and Itata’ commented Peter Richards MW, Regional Chair for Chile, during Decanter World Wine Awards 2020 judging month. 

‘The reason is, these areas being slightly further south, slightly cooler, slightly rainier, means a longer growing season, and often dry farmed – no irrigation. That’s great because it makes for really elegant, refreshing wines; wines with a sense of place. 

‘That’s really important, thinking in terms of climate change, where places are getting warmer and drier generally, so I think the south has a massive future, and it’s great to see some really good wines coming from there.’

Premium: What’s hot in Chile

Read more – Chile & Argentina: The Rise of Pinot Noir

Tasted and rated at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2020 by panels of Chilean wine specialists including Peter Richards MW, Alistair Cooper MW, Amanda Barnes, Ben Gubbins and Erik Simonics, discover a selection of 15 award-winning wines from the south…

Itata Valley

Santa Carolina, Reserva de Familia Chardonnay, Itata Valley 2018

Bronze, 89 points
100% Chardonnay
Ripe red apple and buttery notes on an inviting nose. Savoury palate with a rounded length.

Viña Santa Berta, Riesling, Itata Valley 2017

Bronze, 87 points
100% Riesling
Red apple and blossom notes with a mineral backbone. Lively and aromatic with a firm acidity.

Concha y Toro, Marques de Casa Concha Cinsault Rosé, Itata Valley 2019

Silver, 90 points
90% Cinsault, 10% Garnacha
Red fruit driven nose with touches of lemon and herbs. Juicy and weighted on the palate with a bright finish.

Miguel Torres, La Causa, Cinsault Rosé, Itata Valley 2019

Bronze, 87 points
100% Cinsault
Strawberry and citrus peel aromas with a floral note. Dry and fresh palate with zippy acidity.

Rucahue, Red Blend Family Reserva, Itata Valley 2018

Gold, 95 points
70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc
Fresh fruit nose, aromatic green notes and touches of sweet vanilla oak. Pure and racy palate with structured tannin and sour cherry flavours. Concentrated and fresh on the finish.

Longaví, Glup Cinsault, Itata Valley 2018

Silver, 90 points
100% Cinsault
Juicy and vibrant red fruit with herbal and savoury undertones. Refreshing and engaging palate with juicy fruit and lifted acidity.

Rucahue, Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Itata Valley 2016

Bronze, 88 points
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Lovely pure vibrant cassis and blueberry aromas. Supple tannin and a bright acidity on a warming finish.

Miguel Torres, La Causa, Itata Valley 2018

Bronze, 87 points
62% Cinsault, 23% País, 15% Carignan
Wild red fruit with floral and balsamic hints. Complex and nuanced palate with a juicy finish.

Bío Bío Valley

Concha y Toro, Marques de Casa Concha Edición Limitada Chardonnay, Bío Bío Valley 2018

Silver, 93 points
100% Chardonnay
Savoury nose of smoke, butter with a lifted green apple underneath. Mouthwatering and attractive palate with some breadth and depth.

Viña Indómita, Zarper Gran Reserva Malbec, Bío Bío Valley 2019

Gold, 96 points
100% Malbec
Deep damson and menthol, mint aromas with touches of violet. Structured palate with savoury edges and an upbeat acidity. Elegant and fresh on the finish.

Co-op, Irresistible Malbec, Bío Bío Valley 2018

Bronze, 87 points
100% Malbec
Plummy nose with leafy, vegetal aromas. Grippy tannin and bright acidity on the palate.

Malleco Valley

Bodega Volcanes de Chile, Tectonia Chardonnay, Malleco Valley 2018

Gold, 96 points
100% Chardonnay
Red apple and citrus with buttery notes and a mineral hint of wet stone. Broad and rounded palate with sweet spice and touches of lemon curd. Impressive and still youthful.

Undurraga, T.H. Pinot Noir, Traiguén, Malleco Valley 2018

Silver, 94 points
100% Pinot Noir
Cherry blossom and wild herbs with summer berry aromas. Elegant and understated palate with soft fruit and classy structure.

Osorno Valley

Miguel Torres, Cordillera de Los Andes Sauvignon Blanc, Osorno Valley 2018

Silver, 90 points
100% Sauvignon Blanc
White fruit and a hint of honey and a gooseberry tang. Pure and upbeat on the nose with nettley acidity.

Secano Interior

Viña Carmen, Loma Seca Cinsault, Secano Interior 2019

Bronze, 86 points
100% Cinsault
Sour cherry and plum nose with hints of perfume. Solid structure with dense fruit profile.

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