Over the years we have enjoyed some lovely Cabernets from Chile primarily in the under $20 range. For cellaring purposes they offer some interesting options but I tend to look for good years that will improve with age with a focus of under $20.
Chile continues to make capital expenditures in the vineyards and the cellar. These investments are starting to pay dividends. Chile’s growing conditions are similar to those of the Mediterranean of cool wet winters with summers on the dry side. That said they have different a climate structure for rain and temperature.
A leading expert on the terroir in Chile is Dr. Parra who holds numerous degrees in soil studies. Mr. Parra states that Chile’s diverse terroirs alien nicely with the finest wine growing regions in the world. It the climate in Chile is not the same.
Chile is known for its big reds at reasonable prices but do not ignore the Sauvignon Blanc and crisp Chardonnays.
Most of the mid priced red wines on the market will come from the 2013 and 2014 vintage. 2014 was cooler with some heavy rains in the spring reducing crop size but the wine produced was good. The 2015 growing season was very nice so the early white varieties should be showing well now.
Let’s take a look at some of good stuff cheap from 2015:
A rich red, with concentrated flavors of dark plum, dried blackberry and mocha that are intensely spiced. Dark chocolate and mince pie notes show midpalate, followed by a lively finish. Drink now through 2019. 20,000 cases made. Rated 90 @ $17
Taut and minerally, with notes of green pepper to the dried berry and red fruit flavors. Accents of dark chocolate show on the tannic finish. Drink now through 2019. 20,000 cases made. Rated 89 @ $20
Odfjell Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley Armador
This offers a lively mineral component to the plush, well-modulated flavors of cherry tart, plum and raspberry. The snappy finish offers dried mint and forest floor accents. Drink now through 2018. 30,000 cases made. Rated 89 @ $13
Concha y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon Marchigue Serie Riberas Gran Reserva
Juicy, with fresh-crushed red raspberry and plum flavors that are supported by zesty acidity. The lively finish is open-textured and engaging. Drink now through 2017. 44,000 cases made. Rated 87 @ $17
Concha y Toro Malbec Central Valley Casillero del Diablo Reserva
Juicy and well-structured, with concentrated dried plum, cherry and forest floor flavors that feature some minerally notes. Green herbal details show on the finish. Drink now. 98,000 cases made. Rated 87 @ $11
Viña Santa Rita Secret Reserve Red Maipo Valley
Redolent of dark plum and fig paste, this red offers fresh acidity and notes of white pepper. Milk chocolate on the ripe finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Petit Verdot. Drink now. 50,000 cases made. Rated 87 @ $!2
Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua
There are lots of crushed red plum and red currant flavors in this savory style. Firm acidity shows midpalate, with a finish that offers accents of graphite and dried beef. Drink now. 65,000 cases made rated 87 @ $14
Concha y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon Central Valley Casillero del Diablo Reserva
A brawny red, with muscular tannins to the mocha, roasted plum and dried berry flavors. The finish is accented by decadent smoky notes. Drink now. 1638253 cases made. Rated 86 @ $11
A grassy-tasting white, with flavors of ripe melon and citrus. Sea salt and peppery notes emerge on the crisp finish. Drink now. 45,000 cases made. Rated 76 @ $13
An herbaceous style, with piercing acidity behind the grapefruit and kiwifruit flavors. Offers an intense finish of scallion and dried oregano. Drink now. 70,000 cases made rated 87 @ $12