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Chilean Sauvignon Blanc over £10

And the winner is...

Valdivieso Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Wild Fermented 2010, Leyda

The Sauvignon Blanc categories are consistently some of the most hotly contested ones for Chile (along with Syrah) so this quite brilliant wine from Valdivieso is a very worthy winner.

The first thing to say about this wine is that it is not the typical style of Sauvignon Blanc you might expect from Chile. Not even a style you might expect of Leyda. And therein lies its brilliance – this is a superbly oaked Sauvignon reminiscent of top white Bordeaux in its savoury intricacy and tantalising depth of flavour.

Oaked Sauvignon Blanc is not a style you commonly find in Chile, although there are a few solid exponents of the style. The harmony and subtlety of this wine, however, place it on another level. It may be something to do with the fact that, under Kiwi winemaker Brett Jackson’s expert direction, the fruit went directly to large format (500-litre) oak barrels direct from the press, and was left to spontaneously ferment with ‘wild yeast’.

Whatever the cause, it’s great to see Jackson’s hard work on Valdivieso’s Single Vineyard range paying off. This innovative producer went through a rocky patch a few years ago but is now very much back on its game, with the Single Vineyard line consistently producing some of Valdivieso’s most interesting, rewarding wines.

Try this one with a lobster thermidor and be prepared for a gastronomic rollercoaster.

Written by Peter Richards

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