Sauvignon Blanc with a Chilean Spin

By / Wine + Drinks / October 29th, 2014 / 2

Recently I had a chance to sit down with winemaker Jaime de la Cerda at Montgras in Chile to talk Sauvignon Blanc.

These days most of us think of New Zealand when the grape Sauvignon Blanc is mentioned, that’s because the kiwis worked so to make it popular to the point of it being a global phenomenon, so much so that now everybody’s doing it.

But the wine-world moves slowly, it takes a minimum of 3 years to harvest your first grapes from newly planted vines, and longer for the first wine to materialize on the market – so when you finally release that Sauvignon Blanc it had better have something special to offer the consumer.

Jaime promises that you will not be disappointed with Montgras’ effort called “Amaral” … and I can tell you he’s right.

We tried both the 2013 and 2014 version “two very different vintages both fresh in their own way” that really shows how Sauvignon Blanc can vary its profile; plus we opened a bottle of Syrah for good measure.

Montgras 2014 Amaral Sauvignon Blanc ($13.95)

Normal vintage temperatures takes the wine on a path of mineral, citrus and tropical on both the nose and palate plus there are hints of Savvy B’s signature grassiness.  Finishes with good mouth-cleansing acidity.

Montgras 2013 Amaral Sauvignon Blanc ($13.95)

This cooler vintage Blanc is full of vibrant citrus, a sharp grassiness and bitterish grapefruit pith; yet it’s a zesty, zippy number with a long finish and bright acidity.

Montgras 2012 Antu Syrah ($17.95)

Raspberry, white pepper, hints of smoke, dark and red fruit all greet the nose; palate is smoky, meaty and peppery with firm dark fruit while the tannins remain silky … complex and elegant – one of the nicest in a long line of great Antu Syrahs.

For more wine suggestions, see our other #WineWednesday posts.

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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