Pandolfi Price, Los Patricios, Itata, Chile 2012
Densely concentrated, serious Chardonnay from Chile’s south. Barrel-fermented, with 22 months in French oak barriques. Creamy texture with layers of complexity. A good alternative to premium Burgundy, with a sensible price-tag.
Taster: Christelle Guibert
Star buy of 2015
Pronounced nose of nuts, herbs and ripe fruits. Complex and savoury palate with brisk acidity and a slight oiliness. Very engaging style, with complexity from the oak and real body from the fruit. Needs a bit more time to really shine.
Tasters: Peter Richards MW, Sarah Jane Evans MW, Xavier Rousset MS
Decanter average score: 18.5/20pts
Individual judges’ scores: Patricio Tapia 18.5 Dirceu Vianna Jr MW 18.5
The Itata Valley, about 400km south of Santiago, is quicky being recognised as one of Chile’s leading winemaking areas. And while most of the wines coming from Itata are made from old-vine Cinsault, País or Muscatel, other varieties from younger vines also shine. Those that produce this Chardonnay grow on volcanic soils on the banks of Larqui River, giving a wine that is voluptuous, yet imposing and surrounded by gentle softness and maturity. Pandolfi Price is a producer to watch and this lovely wine will age with grace.
Patricio Tapia Rich in texture, sweet in flavours and warm in alcohol. A Chardonnay that’s made to go with smoked salmon.
Dirceu Vianna Jr MW Enticingly complex with oxidative and nutty aromas, as well as notes of citrus fruits, bruised apples and earthy and flinty notes. On the palate it’s dry with racy acidity, lovely fruit and a beautiful savoury finish. Complex with well-judged oak. Not an easy wine to understand but for those who do it is exceptional.