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Chile: my top 20

In partnership with Wines of Chile

With an increasingly diverse range of wine styles being produced in Chile, Alistair Cooper MW recommends a selection of his favourite red, white and rosé bottles to give you a taste of what’s on offer

Miguel Torres, Estelado Sparkling Rosé NV, Secano Interior, Maule 90

£12.50-£14.99

A project that helped to kickstart the Chilean País revival. A delicious traditional-method sparkler with subtle red fruits and a lively, focused palate. Drink 2020-2023 Alc 12%

Casa Silva, Lago Ranco Sauvignon Blanc, Futrono, Austral 2017 94

£20.94

A superb wine from one of Chile’s most southerly vineyards on volcanic ash soils. The nose is citrus-led with a steely minerality. The palate has tantalising acidity and the finish is very long. Drink 2020-2024 Alc 12%

Ventisquero, Kalfu Sumpai Sauvignon Blanc, Huasco, Atacama 2017 92

£16.59-£18.65

Subtle herbal nose, lime tomato leaf, smoke. Zippy palate marked by a salty twang from the area’s very saline soils. Long and well-defined finish. Drink 2020-2023 Alc 12.5%

Calyptra, Vivendo Rosé, Cachapoal 2017 91

N/A UK

85% Syrah, 15% Sauvignon Blanc. A lovely aromatic combination of ripe red fruits and subtle pepper notes. Real tension on the palate with crisp acidity and a long, linear mid-palate. Sweet fruit but with marked freshness. A rosé style I’d love to see more of in Chile. Drink 2020-2021 Alc 14%

Aresti, Family Collection, Curicó 2012 94

£19.95

An intense nose of roasted coffee, grilled meat and balsamic notes with a splash of well-controlled volatility. Tannins still give amazingly firm support to a lively fruit core with kirsch and a dash of eucalypt. Powerful yet still refined and very well put together. Drink 2020-2030 Alc 14.5%

Chile wines

Longaví, Glup Cinsault, Itata 2018 94

£18.99 (2017)

From Chilean producer Julio Bouchon and Cederberg’s David Nieuwoudt. A vibrant, mineral and fruit-driven nose, with redcurrant, spice and pepper. Texturally this is supreme. Benchmark Itata Cinsault. Drink 2020-2024 Alc 12%

Undurraga, Terroir Hunter Syrah, Limarí 2015 94

£20.95

Crackling nose of black fruits, bitter chocolate and tapenade. Superbly concentrated with menthol, meat and olives, plus silky, elegant tannins. From a dry-farmed coastal site, this really shines. Long finish. Drink 2020-2026 Alc 13.5%

Viñedos de Alcohuaz, La Era Malbec, Elqui 2015 94

£33

A brooding Malbec from 1,700m altitude. Packed with dark fruits and spice, and a hint of smoky reduction. A lovely streak of acidity keeps the wine crackling with energy. Concentration and nicely tuned tannins. Drink 2020-2030 Alc 13%

Bisquertt, Q Clay, Marchihue, Colchagua 2015 93

N/A UK

Classic Colchagua pastille fruit and a vibrant cassis nose, with hedgerow fruit aplenty. The palate is still very youthful with a nice, earthy coolness and loads of fruit concentration. From one of my favourite recent vintages. Drink 2020-2026 Alc 14.5%

Santa Rita, Floresta Field Blend Tinto, Colchagua 2018 93

£25

The ultimate Chilean blend? A juicy, spicy nose showing both red and dark fruits, with liquorice root and sculpted tannins. It shows the spice of Carmenère yet with great drinkability, especially for Apalta. Drink 2020-2027 Alc 14.4%

chile wines

Tarapacá, Gran Reserva Carmenère, Maipo 2018 93

£12.85

Spice-led nose with dried figs and hedgerow fruit. Medium-bodied with silky soft, fine tannins and a mineral palate saturated with dark fruits, mocha and cedar spice. This should age beautifully. Drink 2020-2026 Alc 14%

Volcanes de Chile, Parinacota, Maule 2016 93

£21.99 (2014)

An inky, deep red with aromas of black pepper and a touch of menthol. Rounded, robust tannins balance the palate of red fruits and smoky dark cherries. All supported by a lovely freshness from the Carignan. Drink 2020-2028 Alc 14%

Bouchon, País Viejo, Maule 2019 92

£11.95-£12.95 (2018)

Bursting with redcurrant, liquorice, rosehip and cherries on the nose. An invigorating palate, with fine-grained tannins, plus a slightly leathery and smoky kick. Drink 2020-2025 Alc 12.5%

Cono Sur, Single Vineyard Block 21 Viento Mar Pinot Noir, San Antonio 2017 92

N/A UK

Beautiful nose with earthy notes, vibrant fruit and a real freshness. The red and dark fruits are more in the background here. This is all about grip, earth and structure. Superb value. Drink 2020-2023 Alc 14.3%

Korta, Seleccion Especial Grosse Mérille, Sagrada Familia, Curicó 2017 92

N/A UK

A rare French variety with a distinct herbal and floral nose, plus notes of clove and strawberry. An interesting wine that reminds me of Trousseau. Serve lightly chilled with cold meats. Drink 2020-2022 Alc 13%

chile wines

Viu Manent, Viu Infinito, Colchagua 2016 92

£45

An attractive, ripe and powerful nose with cassis, leather and cedar, plus a vibrant pastille note. Fine, sinewy tannins that need some time to resolve. Fresh acidity with dark fruit and some Christmas spice. A long and clean finish. Drink 2022-2030 Alc 14%

Odfjell, Aliara, Central Valley 2014 91

£31.49

A pronounced and meaty nose showing quite a lot of development. There is a distinct meaty, leathery note on the mid-palate, with herbal and red fruit notes and firm tannins. Definitely a wine that would benefit from food: grilled red meat. Drink 2020-2025 Alc 14%

San Pedro, Sideral, Cachapoal Andes 2017 91

£21.50

I’m surprised at how evolved the nose is: liquorice and leather with roasted coffee and herbal notes. A distinct mocha and sweet cassis attack is followed by powdery and firm tannins, with quite primary oak. Will come together nicely with time. Drink 2020-2028 Alc 14%

Viña Leyda, Lot 21 Pinot Noir, Leyda 2015 91

£24-£29.50

Aromatic nose with mulberry, raspberry and wild strawberry. Medium-bodied with fine tannins and a candied cherry note. Bags of freshness. Drink 2020-2026 Alc 13.5%

Errazuriz, Max Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Aconcagua 2017 89

£13-£15.40

Attractive blend of cassis, roasted coffee and subtle chocolate notes. Full of ripe black fruit, with firm tannins and a generous dollop of acidity. A great value all-rounder. Drink 2020-2024 Alc 13.5%


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