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Chilean Pinot Noir: panel tasting results

Consistency and quality were varied, yet judges still found some exceptional wines that showcase Pinot Noir’s potential in Chile. Their most important advice? It’s wise to research before you buy.

Peter Richards MW, Alistair Cooper MW and Dirceu Vianna Junior MW tasted 55 wines with 2 Outstanding and 15 Highly Recommended.

Entry criteria: producers and UK agents were invited to submit 100% Pinot Noir still red wines from any Chilean region and vintage of their choice

Chilean Pinot Noir panel tasting scores

55 wines tasted

Exceptional 0

Outstanding 2

Highly recommended 15

Recommended 28

Commended 8

Fair 0

Poor 1

Faulty 1

The last time Chilean Pinot Noir was tackled by a Decanter panel, the results featured in the October 2019 magazine issue and the report sang of, ‘stellar results [with] plenty of diversity, character and excitement’.

The write-up noted a steady progression in quality and resultant ratings over previous tastings in 2016 and 2013.

So does this ‘somewhat disappointing’ tasting (to cite the words of Alistair Cooper MW) reflect a faltering in the momentum of Chile’s great Pinot push? Certainly the raw numbers suggest a dip in form.

In the 2019 tasting, 40% of wines scored 90 points or more, while 90% of wines were rated 86pts or more. The corresponding figures for this tasting were closer to 30% and 80%. As Dirceu Vianna Junior MW commented: ‘I went into this tasting with high expectations… but I wasn’t able to see much progress.’

Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for the top Chilean Pinot Noir wines

As ever, the picture that emerges from a tasting like this is a nuanced one.

Top-scoring wines from the Chilean Pinot Noir panel tasting

The judges

Peter Richards MW is the DWWA Regional Chair for Chile. An award-winning broadcaster and writer, and leading global authority on Chilean wine, together with his wife Susie Barrie MW, he co-hosts the Wine Blast podcast as well as the acclaimed Wine Festival Winchester.

Alistair Cooper MW is a wine consultant, writer and educator with a particular focus on South America. President of the Cata d’Or wine awards in Chile, he writes regularly for Jancis Robinson, Decanter and many other publications.

Dirceu Vianna Junior MW is a wine writer, technical advisor, consultant and educator. He moved to the UK in 1989 and spent much of his career as wine director for some of the UK’s most prominent wine distributors. In 2008, he became the first South American male to obtain the title of Master of Wine.

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