Normally weather conditions in Chile are perfect for growing grapes, but in 2014 and 2015 like many parts of the west coast Chile had its challenges. But with careful attention to processing the grapes the vintners continued to bring strong value wines to the market. The best wines may be coming from the central valley (Maipo and Colchagua Valley) which saw a very hot dry summer with torrential rain before the 2015 harvest leaving the wines with very well-balanced alcohol and acidity
Chile has long been known for Cabernet but you will see increased selections of Pinot Noir and Syrah. The cool waters of the Pacific create good growing conditions for more delicate grapes used to make Pinot Noir.
Pinot Noir from Chile generally is not in enough abundance to make this newsletter that focuses on wines made in enough abundance that most readers can find them easily. We were able to find a Pinot made in a 100,000 case batch selling for under $10. Give it a try.
In addition you will find Cabernets, Shiraz, Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay all selling for under $20 and many in the $10 range.
Viña San Pedro Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley 1865 Single Vineyard 2014 rated 91 @ $18
Rich and refined, with good cut to the red plum, crushed berry and raspberry flavors matched to notes of sandalwood and cardamom. Creamy midpalate, with a finish that’s filled with chocolate and dark currant details. Drink now through 2021. 50,000 cases made.
Viña Montes Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua Valley Classic Series 2014 rated 90 @ $13
There’s minerally freshness to the ripe dark plum, blackberry and cherry flavors, with peppery hints. Well-structured and crisp midpalate, featuring Asian spice and black fig notes on the finish. Drink now through 2020. 50,000 cases imported.
Viña Santa Carolina Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua Valley Reserva 2014 rated 88 @ $11
Zesty, with dried green herbal notes to the fresh red plum and berry flavors. Olive and mineral accents show on the finish. Drink now through 2019. 40,000 cases made.
Concha y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley Casillero del Diablo Reserva Privada 2015 rated 90 @ $18
This ripe and muscular red offers dense dark currant, dried blackberry and green olive flavors that lengthen out nicely, with plenty of fresh acidity. Savory green herbal and bittersweet chocolate notes show on the finish. Drink now through 2020. 62,878 cases made
Odfjell Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley Armador 2015 rated 89 @ $14
A minty red, with spicy accents to the crisp red plum and raspberry flavors. The snappy finish offers licorice and white pepper notes. Drink now through 2018. 30,000 cases made.
Viñedos Errázuriz Ovalle Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua Valley Viñedos Marchigüe Panilonco Reserve 2015 rated 89 @$5 (yes five dollars)
Flavors of fresh-crushed cherry and plum are accented by savory notes in this fruity, open-textured red. Chocolate and Asian spice details show on the finish. Drink now through 2020. 35,000 cases made.
Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua 2015 rated 88 @13
This fleshy red offers dried berry and roasted plum flavors that are firm and well-spiced. Savory and white pepper notes show on the finish. Drink now through 2019. 75,000 cases imported.
Other red wine
Viña San Pedro Carmenère Maule Valley 1865 Single Vineyard rated 89 @ $18
Dense and powerful, with green herbal notes to the roasted plum, dried cherry and cocoa powder flavors. Tea leaf and mocha details show on the finish, accented by dark chocolate hints. Drink now through 2019. 50,000 cases made
Viña San Pedro Syrah Cachapoal Valley 1865 Single Vineyard rated 89 @ $18
A spicy and rich red, with deep, mocha-inflected flavors of dark plum, blackberry and black currant. Muscular tannins show on the dense finish, accented by hints of dark chocolate and pepper. Drink now through 2019. 30,000 cases made.
Viña Montes Malbec Colchagua Valley 2014 rated 88 @ $13
Offers lots of chocolate and espresso notes to the dark plum, cherry tart and blackberry pie flavors. Medium-grained tannins show on the rich and well-spiced finish. Drink now through 2019. 18,000 cases imported
Viña Santa Rita Pinot Noir Aconcagua Valley 120 2015 rated 88 @$ 8
This juicy red offers effusive cherry and berry flavors that are supple, with some savory notes. The spicy finish shows accents of dried beef. Drink now. 111,100 cases made
Viña Santa Rita Malbec Central Valley 120 2015 rated 87 @$8 (eight dollars)
There’s lots of blackberry and raspberry flavors in this medium- to full-bodied red, with cherry tart notes midpalate. Finishes fresh and spicy. Drink now through 2018. 22,200 cases made.
Viñedos Errázuriz Ovalle Chardonnay-Viognier Colchagua Valley Viñedos Marchigüe Panilonco Reserve 2015 rated 87 @ $5 (five dollars)
A buttery white, with well-spiced flavors of ripe pear, roasted peach and Golden Delicious apple, followed by notes of honeysuckle on the fleshy finish. Drink now. 40,000 cases made.
Concha y Toro Sauvignon Blanc Chile Casillero del Diablo Reserva 2016 rated 87 @$ 11
Fruity, with tangerine and dried apricot flavors offset by green herbal notes. Shows plenty of spice on the snappy finish. Drink now. 700,000 cases made.
all ratings and comments from WineSpectator