(2019) Viña Ventisquero always does a good job with its wines, and this is no exception. There's enough gooseberry and elderflower to satisfy the SB fan, a tropical fruit-basket of aroma and flavour, and a good level of intensity here, being dry and well-balanced with nothing out of place, and it is very approachable with its tempered acidity and generous mouthfeel. The Merlot partner also delivers a solidly pleasing mouthful of red wine, and both can be recommended with confidence at their offer price of £5.50 in the Co-op, until 23rd April 2019. Watch the video for more information on both wines.
(2018) A wine that always makes me smile because it is so resolutely unfashionable in colour, a deep magenta/red that's easily the darkest of all the wines tasted here. Cabernet is evident on the nose, both blackcurrant and a touch of something herbaceous, before a full, sweet and creamy palate, some residual sugar softening the edges. Not a style I could drink a lot of, but chunky enough for a chile con carne or some beef empenadas.
(2018) Since I last reviewed this wine it has gained 'Fairtrade' accreditation, but is still 100% País, a local variety, and made by the traditional method with nine months lees-ageing in bottle. A pretty vibrant pink, it's all charming raspberry and summer-pudding fruits on the nose, with a crisp and easy-drinking palate, similar in style overall to a quality Prosecco with its lightness, freshness and touch of residual sugar to ensure quaffability.
(2017) Plums and cherry skins on the nose, a touch of smouldering bonfire, in a nicely judged Merlot where sweet and ripe fruit has enough plushness without becoming too jammy, with easy-going tannins to give it a bit of grip.
(2017) A full-coloured, light-cherry rosé from Chile, that is a little too much like Ribena on first sniff, certainly full of very sweet-scented blackcurrant, cherry and rose-hip. In the mouth there is some sweetness, but it is also fairly full with its 13.5% alcohol, and has a lemony acid at the core. Not totally convincing stylistically for me - but that's surely a personal preference.
(2017) The New World's makers of Viognier have got it right, after early renditions of this Rhône grape variety were almost inevitably too alcohol and so ripe as to be blowsy and lacking in acid. This is a fine example of when Chile gets the variety right, grown organically and fresh with scents of wild flowers, juicy peach and lemon peel. In the mouth there is abundant fruit sweetness, a free-slowing peach juice clarity, but there's fine acidity to balance, a lick of salt and squeeze of lemon, giving a crisp, moreish finish.
(2015) 13.5% abv. This Fair Trade wine from Chile's Central Valleys is refreshing in these days when 9 out of 10 rosés on the shelves seem to either be from Provence, or are mimicking that very pale, almost white wine style. It is fun to see a vibrantly deep, garnet-coloured wine like this. It xplodes with unashamed sweet fruit. A riot of crunchy, off-dry cherry and ripe blackcurrant, it has a nip of spicy tannin and plenty acidity, and is a delicious banker for summer barbecues.
(2010) 54/22/24 split. Nine months in French oak, with 30% new. Quite a ripe, plush, fairly high-toned fruit, with lifted herb and kirsch-like cherry fruit. The fruit has good plushness and palate weight. Big, dusty tannins and lots of juicy acidity and fine tannins. A terrific grip and bite to this.
(2010) Central Valley. A nice touch of herbaceous character here, a touch of leather and baked plum too. The palate has lots of juicy blackcurrant, that cassis and cherry skin tart edge very nice, and a fairly soft finish with smoothed-out tannins and good acidity. Tasty and drinkable this.
(2010) 15% Viognier skins added to the ferment. Nine months in French oak, 30% new. Quite a lot of herby, tobacco notes here, something chocolaty too and a dusty blue/black fruit. The palate has a chewy, quite rustic feel to the tannins, but it makes it dense and savoury.