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My Taste: Chile

Published:  22 December, 2009

Carol Emmas reports from a wine tour through Chile.

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Carol Emmas- What's hot in Chile

Published:  14 December, 2009

Tarred with the brush of having "safe and reliable" wines, after a recent visit to Chile it was interesting to view how producers are embracing the new diversity that cooler climates are offering. With a near perfect climate for grape growing, vast tracts of land and little disease, Chile is beginning to resemble a giant vinous playground where excited producers can toy around with land and terroir as much as they like.

Felipe Muller-East winemaker at Tabali thinks Limari is going to have the biggest cool climate development in the next decade. "Many wineries are trying to get a piece of the action here and investing heavily," he says. "For one the weather is safe, it's very dry and there is little risk of rain near harvest which is usually a problem."

"It means producers can grow red grapes that in other cold climate areas is impossible."

Muller-East also compares the Limari Valley to Marlborough as the temperature doesn't get above 25 degrees. He explains the soil is alluvial and similar to Bordeaux, Cotes du Rhone and Loire, with plenty of limestone and active calcium carbonate which helps give wines a pronounced minerality.

Experimental projects and ideals differ from winery to winery regarding the best way to plant, and produce their wines. Tabale is big on GPS referencing having bought geologists in to assess the soils and map out the land.  As a purist, his philosophy is to divide the land up into something more akin to a patchwork quilt. "Nature's not a square path and we want to make sure the right grapes are planted in exactly the right areas."

Over in Aconcagua on the other hand, it's all about blending from different terroirs. Family owned winery, Viña St Esteban produces the InSitu brand and is also experimenting with altitude. General manager and winemaker Horacio Vicente Mena, says there is a real difference between red grapes from the valley and the hillsides and these differences complement each other. "The best results are a blend from the hill, which gives softer tannins and the river bed which produces more minty flavours."

Opinions also differ regarding whether to use original rootstocks or grafted. It's a choice that other countries that have suffered the fate of phylloxera don't have. But Chile being phylloxera free does. De Martino are adamant they want to take the risk against disease and stick with the original rootstocks for the sake of authenticity."

Yet Luis Felipe Edwards won't take the risk. "We've spent four times as much as we would have converting our rootstock. This is our livlihood, we don't want to take the risk, if the vines contracted Phylloxera, it would ruin us."

Having different opinions of whether to be organic, bio-dynamic or sustainable, or whether to plant in valleys, hills or on the coast is all part of this young winemaking country's current rich tapestry. This means we are beginning to and will increasingly see a very rich diversity of wine styles and innovation coming this way soon

First promotion for rescued Wine Racks

Published:  07 December, 2009

All of the Wine Rack stores saved from administration by Venus Wine & Spirit are to hold in-store tastings this Saturday (December 12) on a range of promotional wines.

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New Taste - LIWF special

Published:  07 May, 2009

Claire Hu and Carol Emmas preview the hottest new product releases at the London International Wine Fair and Distil.

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Wine importers urged to stall Indian investment

Published:  23 March, 2009

Foreign importers are being urged not to invest in the Indian wine market until at least 2010 or risk becoming "frustrated" and out of pocket.

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News - New Chilean region

Published:  09 February, 2009

Viña Errazuriz has launched its first wine from Chile's new Aconcagua Costa region.

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Errazuriz launches new Chilean region

Published:  05 February, 2009

Viña Errazuriz has launched its first wine from Chile's new Aconcagua Costa region.

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Chez Bruce comes out top in new Drinking Out Excellence Awards

Published:  23 January, 2009

Chez Bruce has been named as the country's best wine restaurant, after picking up the top prize at the inaugural Drinking Out Excellence Awards this week.

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Santa Rita chairman passes away

Published:  30 October, 2008

Don Ricardo Claro, chair of the Santa Rita wine group in Chile, has passed away after suffering a heart attack.

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Wines in the Press: From old wines to sweet wines

Published:  21 October, 2008

Jancis Robinson MW gets stuck into some circa 1955 vintage Penfolds, Jonathan Ray cosies up to some big, beefy reds and Jane MacQuitty makes a bid to get dessert wines back onto British tables. Meanwhile, it's the turn of Tim Atkin MW to cast his eye over the new look Oddbins range.

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Wines in the Press: Chardonnay and PX are back in vogue

Published:  07 October, 2008

Some unfashionable wines get some good publicity this week; Jancis Robinson sings the praises of sweet Spanish PX varieties and Jamie Goode attempts to reverse some of the damage Bridget Jones has inflicted on Chardonnay in recent years. Elsewhere, last month's Dispatches programme on the use of chemicals in wine is still a talking point; this week Jane MacQuitty has her say.

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Wetherspoons to hold wine festival

Published:  09 September, 2008

Wetherspoon is to host a 19 day wine festival at which it will showcase a range of wines not previously served in its pubs.

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

"Strawberries are the ultimate summertime treat," says Jamie Goode and his wine selections are intended to reflect this. His first choice is "utterly delicious", if slightly predictable - it is the 2007 Shiraz Ros Casillero del Diablo (5.99, widely available). Next up from Britain's best-known wine blogger is the 2006 Carmenere Luis Felipe Edwards (6.19, Tesco), which gains plaudits for its "deliciously intense, dark-fruited" nature. The "blush-coloured" 2007 Syrah Ros from Santa Julia (5.19, Somerfield) also makes an appearance.

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

"There's a general perception that fish is easy to match with wine," says Susy Atkins but her terrible pairing of mackerel and Viognier last week put paid to this assertion. Her recommendations for matching the two include the 2006/07 Cabernet Sauvignon Ros Santa Rita (6.24, Majestic) which is "a succulent wine for a fishy barbecue, especially with sardines and salad or the 2007 Muscadet Sevre et Maine (4.99, M&S) which is "versatile with all oily fish, and seafood".

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Joanna Simon's Sauce column broaches the topic of Chilean wine. Despite sales of the country's wine products booming, it was not the hot favourites that impressed at last month's Wines of Chile Awards in Santiago. Simon said the event where she judged "left producers reeling - not because the results were poor, but because they were not what was expected". No trophies or gold medals were given to Chardonnay, Simon continued, with the 2007 Alta Tierra winning out as the top Sauvignon regardless of its production in the Elqui Valley - "an area that didn't even grow grapes for wine until 2000". Her top picks include the 2007 Viognier, Anakena (8.49, Thresher) for its "seductive perfumes" and a 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Luis Felipe Edwards (5.99 Tesco).

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

MATTHEW JUKES challenge this week is to come up with some perfect wine matches to accompany fish recipes from Jamie Oliver. He pairs squid with black pudding stuffing and sticky tomato sauce with 2005 Foncaussade Ros, Les Parcelles, Bergerac (3.99, down from 5.25 until 1 November; Waitrose). This week's WoW is 2005 Anakena Single Vineyard Viognier, Rapel Valley, Chile (8.49 or 5.66 with the three for two deal; Thresher).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

In terms of wine matching, deli food requires good all-rounders with similarly straightforward qualities,' says JAMIE GOODE, and he has a few suggestions up his sleeve. One possibility is 2004 Santa Rita Floresta Sauvignon Blanc, Leyda, Chile (9.49; Waitrose).

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Sauvignon Blanc may not have the flexibility of Chardonnay, admits JOANNA SIMON, but it's an ideal aperitif or accompaniment to the last of the summer salads'. She recommends 2005 Santa Rita Floresta Sauvignon Blanc, Chile (9.99; Waitrose).

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

RICHARD EHRLICH is raving about Jamie Goode's book, Wine Science: The Application of Science in Wine Making, this week - in a good way. It surveys authoritatively just about every important area of scientific study in the wine world.' Recommended wines include 2005 Anakena Chardonnay/Viognier (5.99; Co-op).

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

The new-look International Wine Challenge (IWC) gets the thumbs up from RICHARD EHRLICH, whose experience with competitions means he thinks he's moderately well qualified to state that when they're well run, they are a largely reliable guide to quality in the bottle'.

This year's changes within the top management and judging panel has resulted in some worthy medals, says Ehrlich, not least because he has already recommended a few of them in the past.

And even if he hasn't, there are many others I would have guessed at'. This week's wine recommendations include 2005 Anakena Chardonnay/Viognier (4.99; Co-op).

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