Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

8 Top Wines of Chile

So, I spend a week in Chile and this is all I can come up with? A list of eight wines. What a slacker!

Well, truth be told I’ve got several lists in the works, all with many more than 5 wines on them, but I wanted to get the ball rolling while the wines were still fresh in my mind. These are 5 wines that really stood out during my recent tastings in Chile. Some are great values, others simply awesome, but all are worth a look.

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Cool Coast Sauvignon Blanc Casa Silva (2011)
Comments: Grassy, jalapeño, a little asparagus, grapefruit, cats pee, zesty in the mouth, nice cut here, salty, lean and focused, slightly pith citrus character, little leesy on the midpalate, nice. It on finish, almost peppery finish, good length, light peach and grapefruit pith finish, tense stuff, 89pts
Previously available for $24.00
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2 Matetic Chardonnay San Antonio Valley Eq (2010)
Comments: A bit tight on the nose, fine nose, Burgundian nose, soil, dusty dirt, mineral, cut apple, very focused on the nose, tightly wound, very salty, very mineral driven, a bit creamy on the midpalate, very gentle on the palate, real clarity with some fine depth, clear tense fruit all the way through the finish. This is tight yet delicious today with promise for the future. 92pts
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3 Viña Cono Sur Pinot Noir Reserve (2009)
Comments: A bit woody on the nose, forest floor red currant, Christmas spice, sandalwood, tea, a bit chunky, a bit sweet up front, nice rose hip accent with a shading of bitter orange oil up front over rather black cherry almost black currant fruit, more forest floor emerges on the midpalate, a little grapefruit character on the slightly compact, slightly extracted finish. This needs another 2 years 91pts
Average price: $11.71 from 4 stores
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4 Oveja Negra Carignan Single Vineyard (2010)
Comments: A single vineyard Carignan from 80 plus years old vines. Bright, black spice, little garrigue, pressed flowers, fine astringent red fruit, sweet fruity, a touch inky, spicy fennel seeds and turmeric on the nose, cocoa beans, bit of wood, super soft tannins, dusty, herbalist, creamy wild cherry and red plum, a touch chunky, dusty, wiry, stemmy tannins on the finish, bit of pollen on the finish, very pretty, inky slightly banana aromatics, a touch rustic and chunky, nice succulent finish 89pts
Average price: $17.90 from 2 stores
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5 Concha Y Toro Syrah Terrunyo (2008)
Comments: Blueberry, spice, bacon, black pepper-, hard, stony note, hard wood note, nice and firm' nicely focused nose with a nice classic aromatic for file, some raw beef, lean on entry in a way, austere tannins but not big tannins, noticeable acids, but the wine has a softness to the acid, bright red fruits, raspberry, almost strawberry, tight finish, nice cut, just a hint of heat, spice on the finish, nice perfume inner mouth. Ones, plum skin, lovely pink peppercorn spice, solid wine 91pts
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6 Casa Lapostolle Clos Apalta Red 97js Premier (2010)
Comments: Very precise and focused on the nose with a fine, sweet herbal edge and some cedar oak hightones framing a core of tomato and currant fruit. Smooth and moderately rich considering its mid-weight size, this covers the palate with chocolate toned plum and red currant fruit. there's a gentle, and slightly creamy, oak note here as this flows to a clean, fresh and moderately long finish with a nice pop of candied berry fruit on the finale. Shows a nice blend of sophistication and purity. 87pts
Average price: $17.99 from 9 stores
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7 Koyle Carmenere Royale (2009)
Comments: This has tons of fruition the nose along with a really finely integrated roasted, dried chile note, oak spice adds complexity, plum, caper, this is one big wine but everything is in balance, fresh flavors, dense, dark chocolate and a bit mysterious, lovely integration and then the fruit comes out on the finish, tobacco and spice on the finish, really complexity in a rather velvety package 92pts
Previously available for $26.19
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8 Concha Frontera Carmenere Chile Valle Central Rapel Colchagua Valley Red (2009)
Comments: Lots of sweet fruit and spicy oak greets the nose along with notes of candied herbs, dried tomato and black currant fruit. Supple yet bright, this shows a lovely, lively character in the mouth with a blend of red and black berry fruit wrapped around subtle herb and clear baking spice flavors. There's a hint of creaminess to the texture, and a touch of sweetness from oak but this remains refined with good power and lovely balance. The finish is moderately long with a nice blue plum and spice note. Very complete wine. 90pts
Average price: $1099.99 from 20 stores
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