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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

TRADE REVIEW: Wines of Chile

The Time and Date: Wednesday, September 12, 2007, 11A to 1:30 PM

The Event: Preview tasting of Wines of Chile, in advance of the October 3

The Venue: Boiler House Restaurant, Distillery District.

The Target Audience: wine media.

The Availability/Catalogue: the wines presented were mainly LCBO General
List, Vintages or Consignment. Prices were mostly at the lower end, the mid
teens in dollars.

The Quote: "Chilean wineries were just advised to buy as many Argentine
wineries as they could find."

The Wines: we were seated, and the wines were served blind in flights
according to varietals. 46 wines were offered through 8 flights. 25 wineries
or more will be at the show. I enjoyed the Vina MontGras Sauvignon Blanc
Reserva 2006 San Antonio Valley (+58632 General, $11.95) for it was a
bargain with its citric development, longer finish, reduced herbs, but still
a good food wine. Certainly it was affordable. Vina Tabali Chardonnay
Reserva Especial 2005 Limari Valley (+663005 Vintages $18.95) was the
standout chardonnay for the money. Vina Casa Lapostolle Chardonnay Cuvee
Alexandre 2005 Casablanca Valley was the best white, with its elegant blend
of fruit and wood, suggesting a Euro desire, but it is $32.95 (+947937
Vintages). The best value here was the Vina Concha y Toro Chardonnay
Casillero del Diablo Reserva 2006 Casablanca Valley, which delivered toast
on the nose and a smokey finish but a thinnish palate, for a mere $11.95
(+58420, General LCBO). Vina Perez Cruz Carmenere Limited Edition 2005 Maipo
Valley (+670539, $24.95) offered a Euro nose, slightly Bordeaux in
complexity, and screamed for food. I was surprised by the comparable Vina
San Esteban Carmenere In Situ Winemaker's Selection 2004 Aconcagua Valley
(+37952, $13.95 Vintages) with its broad fruit loaded with character and
also needing food. Vina San Pedro Shiraz Castillo de Molina Reserva 2004
Lontue Valley (+237800, $13.20 General) was a Euro styled syrah, good MVC
with fruit on the palate, long length, and again needing food. It is one of
the bargains on the general list; it is hard to find quality at this level.
The best red in the preview was the lovely Vina Tabali Shiraz Reserva 2005
Limari Valley (+662692, $16.95 Vintages), again with a Euro style, lovely
fruit and finish, concentrated depth, useful as a sipper or food wine.

There were 10 cabernet sauvignons. At the high end, I had chosen Vina Casa
Lapostolle Cabernet Sauvignon Cuvee Alexandre 2005 Colchagua Valley
(+947929, $34.95 Vintages) with its elegant long length and food worthiness.
Next was the Vina Concha y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon Marques de Casa Concha
2005 Maipo Valley (+337238, $19.95 Vintages) with its Euro complexity and
lively finish. A delicious Vina San Pedro Cabernet Sauvignon Castillo de
Molina Reserva 2005 Lontue (+339176, $13.20 LCBO) in the North American
style was tied with the broad plummy flavours of the Euro-styled Vina Miguel
Torres Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Digna Reserve 2004 Curico Valley (+177451,
$14.95 Vintages) for third.

The Food: good sandwiches on buns, potato salad, green salad (undressed),
and cookies.

The Downside: I was looking forward to tasting some Chilean malbecs and
Chilean cabernet francs, but it was not to be. The pinot noirs tasted were
not interesting.

The Upside: the blind tasting format is always superb, and it is relaxing
when someone else is pouring the wine for you. It was a great chance to sit

The Contact Person:

The Effectiveness (numerical grade): 90.

More notes at

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