Chile … The Final Frontier

By / Wine + Drinks / September 19th, 2013 / 2

Chile … a final frontier. This is winemaking to the extreme. Who are you kidding? Chile is considered to be one of, if not the, most perfect place to grow grapes. I have often referred to them (with a wink to Mr Charles Chaplin) as the “Great Imitators” because they seem to be able to ape any style from anywhere — as well as doing wines to call their very own (hello Carménère), and that applies across the board to reds and whites alike.

Like Australian Shiraz? They can do that. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc? They’ve got you covered. Voluptuous Viognier? Juicy Pinot Noirs? Big bold Cabs or oaky Chardonnays? You’d better believe they can do that too. And don’t get me started on what they are doing in the Northern and Southern extremes of the country, where they are pushing the envelope of what you’d expect from a hot-climate country and making cool-climate wines with finesse. It’s the reason why foreign investment from well-established old-world wineries such as Lafite (Los Vascos) and Grand Marnier (Casa Lapostolle) have all set down roots to make wine. But when it comes to wines, most people still see Chile with red-coloured glasses. Let’s take a few minutes to change all that and look at some of the fabulous whites coming from the long-thin line we call Chile.

Caliterra Tributo Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2011 ($14.95)

The nose seems like you’ve been there before, but on the palate the grapefruit softens, giving way to more tropical notes.

Concha y Toro Trio Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2011 ($13.95)

Soft and juicy; think Sauvignon Blanc on downers but still ready to party.

Cono Sur Limited Edition 20 Barrels Chardonnay 2008 ($24.95)

Good texture on the palate, good acidity, lots of finesse and of course, tons of fruit.


Michael is an award-winning journalist: Promoting the Promoters Award Cuvée 2010 and Ontario Wine Awards Journalist of the Year 2012.  He is also a national and international wine judge - Ontario Wine Awards, All Canadian Wine Championships; Best of Riesling — Germany; Essencia do Vinho — "Top Wines of Portugal".  He is currently the President of the Wine Writers Circle of Canada and the wine columnist for Ottawa Life and Grand magazine as well as regular contributor to Tidings, and Grapevine ... his reviews have also appeared in the LCBO Vintages magazine. Michael has also added a YouTube channel to his activities where he reviews bottles of great Ontario wine on a weekly basis. In whatever he does, it is Michael’s desire to educate, inspire and encourage others to grow their own love and enthusiasm for wine – and to realize that it is their palate that ultimately makes the decision.

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