This year's Decanter World Wine Awards International Trophy for the Best in Show Dry Riesling under £15 went to Marks & Spencer, Eclipse Riesling, Bío Bío Valley, Chile 2012 (13.5%)
- O’Leary Walker, Polish Hill River Riesling, Clare Valley, South Australia 2008
An exclusively New World taste-off that saw Australia going up against Chile, both wines coming from regions noted as being classic areas for Riesling in their respective countries. This victorious Chilean example was praised by our tasting panel as delivering exactly what people expect from this aromatic grape, and a wine that will convert multitudes of wine lovers back to dry Riesling.
This cracker of a Riesling was made for Marks & Spencer by Cono Sur, a winery that was started in 1993 and has since developed and expanded at a startling rate. Winemaker Guillermo Sánchez says of this Trophy winner: ‘Coming from Bío-Bío, one of the country’s most southern winemaking regions, this Riesling shows what Chile is capable of. We’re exploring – going to the limits – and the result is a crisp, lively wine with great varietal expression.’ He said the wine’s name came in part from his memories of being in southern Chile as a child and seeing a full lunar eclipse. ‘It was so impressive and is still so memorable even to me today – this is the feeling I wanted to evoke when you drink this Riesling.’
Cono Sur was the first producer to plant Riesling in Bío-Bío, and Sánchez describes the region as being an almost tailor-made partner for the grape. ‘The Bío-Bío Valley is perfect for creating quality Riesling. Here we can find wines of high aromatic potential due to lower temperatures and a slower maturation. We get good concentration of flavour due to lack of rain during spring and summer, and good acidity and freshness due to the variety’s characteristics and rich red clay soils.’
Other than blazing a trail for Riesling and Bío-Bío, Cono Sur – named after Chile’s location on the western edge of South America’s Southern Cone – is also a distinguished pioneer of Pinot Noir, as well as being fully committed to sustainable viticulture and organic winemaking (it currently has more than 300 hectares of certified organic vineyards).
Written by Decanter