Taste Chilean Wine Event 2010 in Vancouver

‘ve been a proud supporter of Chilean wines for many years. A year ago, I had an opportunity to go to Chile for my vacation, and visit many wineries in Aconcagua, Casablanca, Maipo, and Colchagua. Some of the wineries I was able to visit include Santa Rita, Casa Lapostolle, Montes, Montgras, and Casas del Bosque. The Chilean wineries I visited and winemakers I spoke with, take the health of their vines very seriously and try to use as much natural processes as possible. The climate is wonderful for grapes, and with the grapes growing on natural root stocks, you get a very true expression of the grape character.

Every September for many years, Wines of Chile, hold a tasting in Vancouver, and other cities across Canada. The Vancouver tasting is coming up soon, and the tickets are on sale. Below is the announcement from Wines of Chile, plus the link to purchase your tickets. Please come and try some wines from Supernatural Chile!  To find out about last year’s tasting you can click on my link to my Wines of Chile 2009 tasting blog.

Wines of Chile Consumer Event Details:

On Thursday, October 7, 2010, at 7:00pm a $39 ticket gives you the chance to mingle with Vancouver’s hottest wine lovers and Chilean wineries as they showcase their wines in Vancouver at Taste Chile 2010!

Meet visiting winemakers and taste wines from wine regions across Chile from more than 30 visiting wineries, each pouring up to six different wines at their table. Chilean style passed hors d’oeuvres will be provided to pair with the fabulous wines on offer. Educate yourself on Chilean wines while sampling additional wines at three focus stations. After tasting your way around the room, relax and enjoy the food and wine in our Santiago Lounge while taking in the sounds mixed by a local DJ.

Taste Chile 2010

W2 Storyeum – 151 West Cordova, Vancouver

Thursday, October 7th

7:00-9:30pm

Tickets $39

Charitable proceeds from the event will be donated to the Grapes for Humanity Canada.

For tickets and information, please visit www.winesofchile.ca.

Salud!

Chile Day 10 – Casa Lapostolle and Viu Manent

Chile day 10 – Casa Lapostolle Clos Apalta and Viu Manent. My first stop this morning was with Casa Lapostolle in their Clos Apalta winery. This winery was specially designed for their flagship wine “Clos Apalta”. This is a Bordeaux blend with Carmenere, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot. The winery is dedicated to organic and biodynamic vineyard practices (which I enjoy and can note that it really does make a difference in your glass), and produces some very nice wines. The Apalta region is the premium red region in Colchagua and I believe in all of Chile. In keeping with my brevity in my blog while I am on the road, I will review one white and one red wine for Casa Lapostolle, with full tasting notes when I am back in Vancouver. For the white, I enjoyed the Casa Lapostolle Sauvignon Blanc 2009 from the Rapel Valley. It had varied aromas of citrus, pineapple and apple. On the palate there was good acidity with pineapple flavour and medium length. This is the FIRST year that Casa Lapostolle has used a screw cap on this wine or any of their other wines. An elegant wine which would pair nicely with seafood. For the reds, I must talk about their Clos Apalta Limited Release 2007. I am the FIRST person in media for North America to try this vintage of Clos Apalta and feel very privileged. This wine spends it’s first year aging in all new French oak barrels with each varietal in it’s own barrel. In year 2, the varietals (Carmenere, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot) are blended and put back in the same barrels and aged for another year. After 2 years in barrel, the wine is bottled and then the bottle is kept in storage for a year before release. The 2007 vintage was very deep purple coloured in the glass. It had vanilla and sweet black fruit on the nose. On the palate there was vanilla, sweet black fruit, red cherries, cloves, and cinnamon flavours. The flavours came out more as I swirled the wine in my glass exposing the wine to oxygen. It would be interesting if time permitted to try this wine after one hour, four hours and 24 hours to see how the wine’s aromas and flavours change. To get the full effect of the wine please decant it. The wine had a nice round mouth feel with a balance of medium tannins. It finished dry with cherry and vanilla flavours lingering on the palate for a long time.

After visiting Casa Lapostolle, my next stop for the day was the Viu Manent winery, just a short drive away. I was given a short tour of the winery, with an opportunity for a barrel sample of a Merlot and a Cabernet Sauvignon, followed by a horse drawn carriage ride through the vineyard. Malbec plays a very big part of the wines at Viu Manent with more being planted around their winery. I have enjoyed their Reserva Malbec in the past at tastings I have held with the South World Wine Society in Vancouver. It is interesting to see how they are producing Malbec very successfully, while this is the signature grape of Argentina. I sampled their Viu Manent Reserva Chardonnay 2008 from the Casablanca Valley. The wine has been released for almost a year. I was told that through the year in the bottle the wine has changed with the level of acidity decreasing, leaving the wine with an off-dry level of sweetness. This wine spent 6 months in oak barrels and as deep yellow in colour. It had a vanilla, apple, sweet and creamy nose. On the palate there was more of the vanilla, apple and creaminess. It was very soft and round in my mouth but also had a slight spiciness. For the red wine, I enjoyed the Reserva Carmenere 2008 from the Colchagua Valley. Deep purple colour in the glass. Vanilla, black fruits and a slight hint of capsicum on the nose. It was quite round in the mouth, with vanilla and ripe black fruit flavours, and a peppery finish.

I have found through discussions with various Chilean winemakers on this trip that Carmenere does tend to have a peppery finish, which is quite nice. The wine makers also suggest paring a Carmenere with spicy asian foods (e.g. Thai, Indian) as well as Mexican food.

That is all from the Colchagua Valley, Tomorrow is back to Santiago. Saludos!

Chile day 2 – Valparaiso

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} catch(err) {}Chile Day 5. Valparaiso. Today was a day of up and downs, that is from riding on funciulars along the steep slopes of Valparaiso. This is an interesting coastal city. The upper hills have many small B&B, restaurants and art galleries. Many of the walls along the narrow cobbled streets are painted with murals. For those wondering what a funicular is, it can best be described as an outside elevator, that has a track and cable going up the side of a steep hillside. The funiculars in Valparaiso are built between 1893 and 1915. The “cars” are built of wood and does take some faith that they are in good condition for riding. But they run daily several times every hour as the cars get full. It is an interesting experience.

Today beside going up and down the hillsides, I did have a chance to try more Chilean wine. This evening with dinner I ordered a bottle of Dona Dominga Carmenere 2008. This wine is from San Fernando, in the Colchagua Valley south of Santiago. This wine was very purple coloured, and looked very much like Malbec. On the nose, there was leather, tar and herbal notes. It was very round in the mouth, with juicy black fruit and plum flavours. There was a bit of spice as well. I paired this with grilled lamb chops that came with a creamy green pepper sauce and mashed potatoes. Another nice pairing.

Tomorrow i will visit the Errazuriz winery and time permitting, another winery nearby. That’s all for now. Saludos!v

Muy Gusto Wines of Chile

Today I enjoyed the wines from more than 3o Chilean wineries at the Sutton Place Hotel in downtown Vancouver. There was a range of red and white wines from the northern region of Limari down to the south in Bio Bio. There was Chile’s signature grape, Carmenere at many of the agents tables, but also a wide variety of other varietals. Cabernet Sauvignon is the most widely planted red grape, followed by Merlot, then Carmenere. For the whites, Sauvignon Blanc is the most widely planted white grape followed by Chardonnay then Moscatel of Alexandria. One interesting varietal that I tried today was a Sauvignon Gris from Cousino Macul. I was told that this is the only Sauvignon Gris being offered in BC. This grape is a “lost” Bordeaux varietal that was brought to Chile before phylloxera infected the vines in France. This wine I believe was sur lie, as I detected some lees as well as lemon on the nose. It was a light bodied wine, with light acidity and peach flavour.

So what were some of the highlight wines that I tasted (I didn’t taste all the wines at the event, so i’m sure there are some excellent ones that I didn’t get to try)?

Vinedos Emiliana Eco Bio Bio Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2009 ($12.95). I like this wine as it is organic and a great price. Who says organic has to be expensive? This wine had asparagus aroma. Good acidity with citrus and apple flavours. A New World Style Sauv Blanc.

Montgras Ninquen. This is a blend of 65% Syrah and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine comes from the Ninquen hill in the Colchagua Valley. This wine was deep purple in colour. Cassis and cherry on the nose. Cassis, dark fruit and black cherry flavours. It is very full bodied and has a spiciness that builds in your mouth as you savour it’s flavours.

Santa Carolina Reserva de Familia Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 ($19.95). This wine has a nice cassis nose. It is quite round in your mouth and has ripe red cherry flavour, and a dry finish.

Santa Rita Medalla Real Cabernet 2007 ($19.99) . This wine is medium garnet in the glass. Cassis, red cherry, and sweet red fruit aromas. Ripe cherry and black fruit flavours. This wine is very full bodied and has nice soft tannins. Outstanding value and quality.

That is all for now. There is alot of southern hemisphere wine events happening this week. On Thursday I’ll be at the Wines of Argentina event, with more wines to blog about. Salut!