(2020) Cono Sur produced some of the first Chilean Pinot Noir that I ever came across, with my first tasting note from the 2000 vintage. Then the wine came from Casabanca, and was not organic certified like this 2018 vintage, so things have changed. Grapes come from San Antonio and Chimbarongo in Colchagua, home to the first Pinot Noir plantings in Chile. 70% was aged in oak barrels for eight months. It's a Pinot in the earthy, smoky and vegetal mould, aromas of beetroot to the fore, with a little rhubarb. That's a totally legitimate profile for Pinot, though a sweet cherry fruit character comes through nicely on the palate, the texture quite creamy, and the finish juicy and appetising. Note the price is down to £7.50 in Sainbury's until the start of July 2020. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2016) Francisco’s second vintage in charge. Cabernet Sauvignon with 7% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot and 3% Syrah. 18 months in new French oak. Masses of cassis and mint, dark mint chocolate and obvious plushness and weight. Still some fine graphite touches, but has a plump and solid fullness. The palate is weighted with fruit, no problem with the juiciness and freshness through that plum and cherry skin roughening edge of tannin and acid, but a wine in the big, showy style, undoubtedly very impressive.
(2016) 79% Caberent Sauvignon, 10% Malbec, 6% Carmenere, 5% Petit Verdot. 22 months in French oak, 65% new. The lowering of the oak is the obvious step change here again. Lovely sandalwood notes are fragrant, more pot-pourri edges to the oak, lovely fresh fruit too – a little closed in this young wine, but has such lovely balance, such an agile, fresh palate with plenty of fruit but that intrinsic energy, more balsamic, delightful and balanced stuff.
(2016) A very cool vintage. Seems to have much less oak than the 2009, but also a different fruit profile with cedar and raspberry as well as the cassis. The palate is balanced and elegant, so much more acidity and acid edge to cut against the spicy black fruit. Elegant and very promising.
(2016) A touch of leather and earthiness, a very solid fruit with lovely cedar and some warm fudge tones, the little orange note carrying through to the palate. Has life and a cedary edge, giving a lovely classic balance. And medium-bodied finesse.
(2016) 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. 16 months in French oak, no new oak, and large barrels. Obvious aged aromas, but has a real perfume and good juicy black fruit. A touch of balsamic. Very nice palate, the balance is excellent in a slightly rustic style, so much like a good older Cru Bourgeois perhaps, missing a touch of complexity and weight, but still a lovely wine.
(2016) 100% Cabenert Sauvignon. 20 months in French oak, all new. “Chile was changing, and this was a warm vintage,” says Francisco. Such a different wine, with masses of mulberry fruit and eucalyptus, more alcohol, oak also, and just bigger in every sense. The palate has loads of plush fruit too, but still a nice edge of acidity and tight tannins, even though it is almost more like a classic big Australian red.
(2016) 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Carmenere, 15% merlot, 7% petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc. 22 months in barrel, 75% new. Slightly higher, with a little elegant volatile note, graphite and pencil-shavings, the fruit just a little more lifted – slightly cooler, slightly less new oak? It is juicier and really fresh, a tarty cherry sourness adding to the sweet mid palate fruit to give this balance and polish. Long and really a terrific wine.
(2016) 58% Caberent Sauvignon, 15% Carmenrere, 12% Malbec, 10% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. 22 months in French oak, 75% new. Such a bold, solid colour. A little less developed obviously, a little tighter, but a similar overall character to the 2011, with that little graphite and floral lift and the very compact, quite muscular dense fruit concentration. Lots of sweetness on the mid palate, a really juicy but luscious black fruit confiture, the tangy acid edge and bittersweetness of cherry and plum skins coming through, finishing with a touch of spice and the juicy fruit, the oak so subtley underpinning. Note price is ex-duty and VAT.
(2016) 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Carmenere. This was before Seña had its own vineyard, so was a selection of Errazuriz fruit. Showing plenty of age with a broad tobacco rim. Big bloody and animal nose, real Margaux-like perfume with floral notes and iron oxide minerality. The palate has lovely firmness at its core, a juicy orange cut of acidity, and that bloody ripe fruit character. Some fudge And mushrooms truffle notes and great length. A very convincing Bordeaux blend that has aged beautifully.