(2023) Viña Carmen winery, founded in 1850 so one of Chile's oldest, makes this fashionably pale rosé from eight mostly French varieties, but including Sangiovese and the local Pais. Soft summer fruits and berries on the nose with a touch of confit lemon. Easy drinking palate, light fruit flavours and no tannin to speak of, the acid balanced nicely so it finishes dry and savoury. On offer at just £6.50 at time of review.
(2021) We're in very light, raspberry-scented and relatively dry sparkling wine country here, with a Fairtrade-accredited wine from Chile made using one of the 'Criolla' historical grape varieties, País. It is made by the traditional method, but with a relatively short period on the lees so it's much more about fruit and freshness than any yeasty character. Nimble, with some rose-hip and refined red fruit, then good acid balance.
(2020) Something a bit different in amongst a sea of Provençal styles on the market, this is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon which is deeply coloured following 36 hours skin contact. The nose is all confiture with Morello cherry and raspberry jam notes, and a sense of creamy roundness. In the mouth there's an unmissable bit of residual sugar, and balancing is not just some crisp acidity but a little tannin, which along with more berry-ripe fruit gives this a bit of savouriness to offset the sweetness of the finish.
(2020) The Chilean outpost of Spain's Miguel Torres began life over 40 years ago, making a range of affordable, quality wines. This Sauvignon Blanc hits that spot: dry, with only around 1g/l of residual sugar, it is ripe and bursting with herbaceous, elderflower and gooseberry aroma, a pungent style beloved by many. On the palate plenty of texture and tropical fruit, passion fruit and lychee, a bit of Ogen melon character too, and a balanced finish with decent acidity.
(2017) Sourced from Chile's Central Valleys, and bearing a lovely label depicting Georges Seurat's lovely 'Bathers at Asnières' on the label, this is a modestly-oaked Chardonnay with orange and lime through more tropical peachy aromas, and flavours that marry the same to a firm lemon and lightly salty acidity.
(2017) From Miguel Torres' long-established Santa Digna outpost in Chile this sparkling rosé is made from 100% País, a local variety, made by the traditional method and given nine months lees-ageing in bottle. It's a deliciously quaffable style, pale, pale pink in colour and redolent of hedgerows and raspberries, a gently creamy citrus note too, the same onto the palate, soft, a flattering dosage of sweetness and a finely tuned finish. Moving a Prosecco drinker onto this would be an easy baby step towards Champagne :)
(2016) Carmenere is regarded by many as Chile's 'signature grape', but there are moves afoot to rehabilitate one of the most common grapes of the country, País, which has traditionally been used only for cheap wines for local consumption. Torres have vinified this using the carbonic maceration technique common in Beaujolais, to give a wine that bursts with sweet black cherries on the nose, before a fresh and medium weight palate with a soft tannin structure, plenty of black fruit and a well-balanced finish. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas. Stocks are moving from the 2013 to 2014 vintage at time of writing.
(2016) A blend of 43% Grenache, 38% Petite Sirah, 17% Mourvedre. A really tight, glossy black fruit nose, some softer red berry notes adding brightness, a touch of nutty and smoky character, but the creamy and glossy sweet fruit dominates. The palate is filled with rich, thick black fruit, like biting into the flesh of a ripe black plum, that little bite of acidity and tannin from the skins, but the sweet-fleshed generosity is gorgeous.