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Chilean Pinot Noir: Panel tasting results

Judges agreed that Chile can achieve great things with Pinot Noir and found good wines that offered great, fruit-driven value – especially at the mid-price levels. Peter Richards MW reports...

Martin Lam, Peter Richards MW and Patricio Tapia tasted 61 Chilean Pinot Noirs with two Outstanding and 22 Highly Recommended…

Entry criteria: Producers and UK agents were invited to submit their latest-release Pinot Noir reds from any region in Chile

Scroll down to see the tasting notes & scores

The verdict

The ultimate crime with Pinot Noir is to be dull. While Chile may have been guilty of this transgression in the past, this tasting put those ghosts to rest. There was plenty of diversity, character and excitement in evidence, while the pitfalls of excessive ripeness, extraction, oak and alcohol were notable in their scarcity. ‘This tasting was evidence of a big step forwards,’ lauded Patricio Tapia, ‘with not only quality but also real character on show.’

Top 24 Chilean Pinot Noir wines from the panel tasting:

See all of the wines tasted here

The judges

Martin Lam

Lam is a wine, food and restaurant consultant and a mentor of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts. He opened London’s Le Caprice in 1981 as head chef, moving to L’Escargot in 1982. In 1992 he opened wine trade favourite Ransome’s Dock with his wife Vanessa, winning many awards including AA Best Wine List 2009.

Peter Richards MW

Richards is an award-winning broadcaster and writer, with more than a decade on BBC1 television and four books including The Wines of Chile and his own Chile Wine Brief. He is the DWWA Regional Chair for Chile and, with his wife Susie Barrie MW, he co-hosts the acclaimed annual Wine Festival Winchester.

Patricio Tapia

Tapia graduated with a degree in journalism in Santiago, before attending Bordeaux University to study winemaking. His several books include Wines for Great Occasions, The Wines of Colchagua Valley and TodoVino, as well as his annual Descorchados guide to the wines of Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Uruguay.

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