Christian CALLEC

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Posted by Christian Callec on woensdag, september 12th, 2012

During the Chilean Wine Tour event in Amsterdam, not less than 26 wineries were presenting their wines to the Dutch trade, press and restaurant world. This year, the offer was very good and the average quality of the wines was surprisingly high.

A quick tour around some wineries:

AMAYNA: this is a top-location owned by the Garcés Silva family. The Amayna vineyards and winery are located very close to the Pacific Ocean in the beautiful Leyda Valley. The wines are all very representative for this cool climate region. The (unoaked) Sauvignon blanc (Retail NL 16.50 €) is one the very best from Leyda. Unfortunately, the 2011 was still on the boat between Chile and the Netherlands. The 2007 Barrel Fermented Sauvignon blanc is really amazing… Just after release, I was not very fond of it, too much dominated by oak. I tasted it in the past 3 years each year again and again… it goes on increasing in complexity every single year! Beautiful wine! (Retail NL 20.95 €). The Chardonnay 2009 is very fresh, elegant and lovely creamy thanks to a great job on the lees. Very gastronomic wine! (Retail NL 19.95 €). The Syrah 2008 is already delicious, fresh, juicy and slightly mineral, a very nice wine for the gastronomy. However, this wine will get much better in the next vintages. The vineyards are still too young to reveal their real quality, but the potential is great! (Retail NL 23.95 €). Same story for the fantastic Pinot noir 2009… already very fresh and elegant, really enjoyable, very well balanced, fruity and juicy with a refreshing mineral finish. I know some Bourgogne wines costing much more but lesser in quality… (Retail 25.95 €)

The wines I tasted during my last visit at the Amayna winery 2 years ago – © Christian Callec

ANAKENA: I discovered Anakena wines some years ago during my stay in Santiago. The waiter advised me some cheaper wines with my meal, from one of the big wineries. I knew those wines and I didn’t want to spoil my meal with them… He told me to have some bottles of ‘very expensive’ wines that no one wanted to buy. I asked him to show me the bottles… Hmm, interesting… organic wines from Chile. Great… I ordered the bottles which, to be fully honest, were not so expensive at all… That was my first encounter and pleasure with Anakena Ona wines… I tried twice to visit the winery during one of my stays in Chile, both times after visiting the neighbours in Altaïr winery, also located in the Alto Cachapoal Valley… It didn’t work out. I still regret that… Well, next time, I will visit it, I hope… Anakena wines all offer a great value and pleasure for money! Most of them are not expensive at all! I tasted a very nice, surprisingly fresh, fruity, floral, elegant light and gastronomic Single Vineyard Viognier 2011 Requinoa, a lovely fruity, floral, juicy, fresh, light and elegant Single Vineyard Pinot noir 2011 Leyda, and a well-balanced, fruity, spicy, juicy and generous Single Vineyard Carmenère 2010 Peumo  (all three wines above retail NL 8.95 €!). The Ona White Blend 2011 Rapel Valley, made of viognier, riesling and chardonnay was amazingly fresh, elegant, lovely aromatic and slightly mineral (retail NL 12.95 €) while the Ona Red Blend 2010 Cachapoal from cabernet sauvignon, carmenère and syrah offers a bowl full of ripe fruit (especially plums), some spices and a hint of chocolate, a nice complexity, round body and velvety tannins (retail NL 12.95 €)… The Ona Pinot noir 2010 Leyda was a very nice surprise, loads of berries, cherries, spices and sensual toast notes, a very good balance and velvety structure, a lovely gastronomic character.

Last but surely not least, the icon wine Alwa Red Blend 2009 Cachapoal Valley, made of cabernet sauvignon (45%), carmenère, syrah and carignan, was a great climax: complex aromatic, plenty of red and black berries, with some floral accents, pepper and toffee. On the palate, great balance, good freshness, lots of juice, ripe and silky tannins, long and enticing finish with a nice mineral tone. Highly recommended!

Please read the previous and next articles about this fantastic event and more…

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