4th annual Salud!

wines-of-chile-vinos-de-chileSeptember 18-30th, 2009 marks the 4th annual Salud! Chilean Wine Fest.  Restaurants in NYC and D.C. will be pouring Chilean wines by the glass or doing special tasting menus and retail stores will be offering free tastings.  For a full list of the goings-on, click here.

We’re going to feature a Sauvignon Blanc and a Carmenère:

Chilean wines

tasted today and approved

A little on each:

The Sauvignon Blanc is from Veranda, a project overseen by Pascal Marchand, who has an impressive background, including time at Comte Armand and Domaine de la Vougeraie.  It hails from a single vineyard, Miraflores, in the Bío Bío region of Chile.  In addition to being fun to say, Bío Bío is one of Chile’s southernmost winemaking regions.  We’ll be featuring the 2008 vintage and it’s a perfect Sauvignon Blanc for fall because it’s got some meat on its bones.  Sure, the citrus and herbaceous qualities are there, but floral, honey and some anise notes are, too.  Another bonus: the winemaker is working biodynamically. 

The Carmenère is produced by Errazuriz and is also a single vineyard, this time from the Don Maximiano Estate in the Aconcagua Valley.  Carmenère is to Chile what Malbec is to Argentina.  Thousands of acres of vines in Chile thought to be Merlot turned out to be Carmenère instead.  Jancis Robinson has described it as combining the charm of Merlot and the structure of Cabernet Sauvignon.  Many I’ve had have been too herbaceous, but the 2007 from Errazuriz had black fruits, sweet spice and some tobacco notes.  Errazuriz has an impressive winemaking history in Chile – they’re on their 6th generation right now.  I’ll leave you with a quote from their founder, Don Maximiano:

“Grapevines should be carefully tended and treated like a work of art, since their life span runs parallel to that of humans. A vine should be educated, cared for, and trained like a man; it should not be allowed to grow unoriented, because to bear proper fruits, it must not extend its branches in vain.”

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