After a dinner with Eduardo Chadwick of Viña Errazuriz, I was inspired to continue my exploration of Chilean wine with the Vino Enthusiasts.
The food for the evening included Soppresata salami, cashews, a cheese plate, olives, mushrooms, orange marmalade and crackers.
The wines for the evening included the Errazuriz Max Reserva Sauvignon Blanc, the Cono Sur Bicicleta Viogner, Ventisquero Grey Single Block Carmenère and the Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Sauvignon Blanc had an aroma of grass and grapefruit and was almost reminiscent of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Refreshing acidity, similar palate characteristics to the nose with added notes of lemon zest and a quick, simple finish. Cleanses the palate, easy drinking and great to have without food.
The Viogner had a vibrant nose of perfume, passion fruit and lychee. The palate was very fruit-forward with added notes of nectarine and other stone fruits. Low in acid, but had a pleasant oily texture that helped pair with the food. This texture follows through to a long finish. Although a little flabby, this wine paired very well with the brie cheese.
The Carmenère was the group's pick of the night. Jammy blackberry, pepper spice and sweet baking spices on the seductive nose. A fruity and rich palate with cooked blackberry pie, black pepper spice and baking spice all following through. The palate was complex with layers of fruit, a feminine tannin and acid. This wine paired phenomenally with the Soppresata salami because of the spice.
The Cabernet Sauvignon had an aroma of wet earth, black licorice and a complex sense of terroir. This wine was full-bodied with structured tannin and a present acidity. A dark fruit character was present with added notes of clove spice, dark chocolate and coffee. The wine lingered on the palate with a pleasant finish. The group thought this wine was extremely good and paired well with the olives and OKA cheese, but would probably pair best with a steak or red meat because of the tannic structure of this wine.
The final conclusion of the evening was that Chile is widely underrated when it comes to high-quality wines at an extremely affordable price. The next time you find yourself looking through liquor store aisles, remember that Chile can offer great value.