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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wines of Chile - 2009 Sauvignon Blanc - TASTING

What a fabulous opportunity I had today to participate in a virtual wine tasting via the Internet. This was no ordinary tasting event. It was conducted by Master Sommelier and Wines of Chile (Vinos de Chile) Educator, Fred Dexheimer. Fred was also accompanied (via the web) by eight wonderful vintners, live from Chile.

As noted in the title of this post, the blogger tasting theme was 2009 Chilean Sauvignon Blanc. The provider of the wines was a great organization called Wines of Chile or in Espanol - Vinos de Chile!

Wines of Chile is an organization committed to promoting the quality and image of Chilean wine throughout the world. It has offices in Santiago, London, and New York, as well as representatives in Canada, Ireland, and Denmark, and also works closely with ProChile to develop and offer promotional and educational programs in Asia, Latin America and Europe. Wines of Chile’s 76 member wineries belong to Vinos de Chile and represent 85% of Chile’s bottled wine exports.


These are the eight different 2009 Chilean Sauvignon Blanc's that we tasted in order from left to right. During the tasting I tried to pay close attention to the vintners and enjoy the wines as much as possible without taking copious notes. However, a few hours later once my nose and palate were ready for action again, I tasted the wines once more and took notes on what I really thought of each individual wine. 

Below are my tasting notes and scores for each wine. Soon I will provide links below each tasting note for a more comprehensive look at each wine and my complete run down of the more geeky-tech stuff!

2009 Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc Reserva - Casablanca Valley
Nose: Citrus, lime peel, kiwi, mineral, lemon-lime, tart pear, wet pavement, and hints of salty sea water
Flavors: Citrus, lemon-lime, kiwi, flower, mineral.
Notes: Crisp Acidity, clean, fresh, savory, simple
Score: 86 Points

2009 Ventisquero Queulat Sauvignon Blanc - Casablanca Valley
Nose: Green bean, chalk, green-grapefruit, lime peel, mineral, stones
Flavors: Mineral, tart honeydew rind, hint of green-veg on the finish
Notes: Nose is very terroir (soil) driven, very tart-high acidity, would be brilliant with shellfish and also may appeal to old world S.B. lovers because of it's mineral-driven style.
Score: 85+ Points

2009 Undurraga T.H. Sauvignon Blanc - Leyda Valley
Nose: Mandarin orange, orange blossom, hints of papaya, lees or yeast, citrus zest, mineral, grapefruit, lime peel
Flavors: key lime pie, lemon curd, mineral, slight touch of smoke or flint, gooseberry, grapefruit
Notes: Creamy texture on mid-palate, very crisp acidity, well balanced
Score: 88+ Points

2009 Valdivieso Leyda Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc - Leyda Valley
Nose: Sherry, apple skin, Oxidized
Flavors: Sherry, nuts
Notes: This wine was sadly but quite obviously oxidized (The whole tasting group agreed) Bad Case?
Score: None

2009 Santa Rita Medalla Real Sauvignon Blanc - Leyda Valley
Nose: Very herbaceous, heavy gooseberry, yellow grapefruit, mineral, spice
Flavors: Tart lemon-lime, gooooooooseberry, grapefruit, mineral, wet stone
Notes: Wine of the night! Bombastic! Piercing acidity, powerful, intense, wild, exotic, spicy, complex, provocative, a straight palate buster! May not be for everyone, but watch out New Zealand fans!
Score: 91 points

2009 Cono Sur Organic Sauvignon Blanc - San Antonio Valley
Nose: Tropical fruits, ripe pineapple, lees or yeast character, cream sickle, honeysuckle
Flavors: Orange cream sickle, honey suckle, stone fruits, touch of residual sugar or sweetness
Notes: Tasting group loved this wine, round and somewhat viscous texture, mouth coating, perhaps a bit of sugar which makes it a definite crowd pleaser, appealing and uncomplicated, balanced.
Score: 89+ Points

2009 Haras de Pirque Estate Sauvignon Blanc - Maipo Valley
Nose: Tropical fruits, hints of guava, meyer lemon, mineral, kiwi, white blossom, light citrus
Flavors: Melon rind, lemon-lime, tart kiwi, asian pear, crab apple
Notes: Slightly subdued nose, but one of the more expressive and mouth watering on the palate, great balance, ripe fruit.
Score: 87 Points

2009 Casa Silva Cool Coast Sauvignon Blanc Paredones Estate - Colchagua Valley
Nose: Musky, floral, blossoms, citrus peel, slight grassiness, wet stone
Flavors: lime soda, mineral, marmelade, sweet Mexican key limes
Notes: Aromatically very different from the group, well made, perplexing, tart acid, but lush on finish. May need the perfect dish to really bring about it's greatness.
Score: 88 points


What I found to be amazing about these wines was the dramatic differences expressed within the same varietal category. I believe firmly this is a stunning example of the theory of terroir, and the distinct expressions of soil, climate, clonal selection, and winemaking techniques.  - Perhaps in that order of importance and impact too. 

Within this tasting there were five Chilean D.O.'s (appellations) represented and everyone of them had distinct characteristics that uniquely defined them. The wines from Leyda (with exception of the faulty bottle) were mind-blowers!

I'd like to give a special thanks to Fred Dexheimer and his distinguished panel of vineyard representatives, Wines of Chile, and Morgan Perry and the folks over at the thomas collective.

Stay tuned for in-depth reviews of each of these wines and a continued focus on the quality wines of Chile.

Attention:
I found a lot of great bottles of wine at Target and I got over 20% off with a Target coupon.

 
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