Previously known for its consistency, Chile is experiencing increasingly varied vintage patterns as winemaking styles evolve and extreme weather makes an impact. Peter Richards MW offers a snapshot of recent vintages...

Variations on a theme: Recent Chile vintages

Being plunged into darkness was a fairly common occurrence in Chile in the late 1990s. Drought and mismanagement meant less power than expected was generated by Chile’s hydroelectric plants, hence rolling blackouts.

It cost the country millions and was yet another reminder, in a nation prone to natural calamities from earthquakes to volcanic eruptions, of the humbling power of nature.


Scroll down for Peter Richard MW’s pick of wines from recent vintages


‘We must never forget, we depend on nature and it is not under our control.’ So says Marcelo Papa, who oversees the greatest wine output in the country as Concha y Toro’s technical director, making him one of the planet’s most significant wine figures.

The reason for his fatalism, beyond being Chilean, is the unprecedented run of challenging wine vintages that has afflicted Chile of late.

 


Peter Richards MW is an awarded wine writer, consultant and broadcaster. He is the DWWA Regional Chair for Chile