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Chile

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Alto Bajo Chardonnay 2016 (1x 75cl)

Alto Bajo is produced from vineyards across Chile's Valle Central by a terrific team led by winemaker Camilo Viani, who brings vitality and vision - as well as a great eye for winemaking detail. “Alto Bajo” translates as “High Low” and reflects the varied regional landscape of Chile.

This Chardonnay is deliciously fruity with lots of ripe, tropical fruit flavours but also the tiniest hint of vanilla.  It matches well with the following foods: chicken, ham or bacon, pate and terrines.

£6.40

Casa Azul Sauvignon 2016 (6x75cl)

A pale lemon green in colour, there are aromas are of gooseberries, cut grass and elderflower. On the palate it is very fresh flavours of pineapple and passion fruit and a light and refreshing finish. A fruity easy drinking wine, perfect as an aperitif.

£49.45

Chateau Los Boldos Tradition Reserve Chardonnay 2016 (1x75cl)

Château Los Boldos was founded in 1991 and is situated 100km south of Santiago in the foothills of the Cachapoal Andes. Working with a portion of old vines originally planted in 1948, the focus from the onset has been on the production of premium wines. The estate has been transformed since it was purchased by Sogrape in 2008. Renowned soil scientist and viticultural consultant Pedro Parra (of Clos des Fous) was brought in to assess the plots and match the right variety to the different soils around the estate. The type of rootstock, planting density, orientation and the frequency of irrigation were all within Pedro’s remit, and the results are now being seen in the wines, especially since Victor Arce, previously of Perez Cruz, joined as winemaker in 2015.

Los Boldos has 170 hectares of vineyards which benefit from a Mediterranean climate. The clear, bright skies during the summer and the high diurnal temperature range are ideal for growing fruit that maintains fresh acidity whilst ripening to perfection. The nearby Cachapoal river also moderates temperatures, while stony alluvial soils in the vineyard ensure low yields. Los Boldos makes wine exclusively from their own vineyards, therefore controlling everything from grape to bottle.

Due to El Niño weather patterns, 2016 had a relatively cool growing season with heavy rains in April. This reduced yield, but also lengthened the ripening season, allowing for the slow maturation of grapes which benefits flavour development.

The Chardonnay grapes were macerated in stainless steel tanks. Fermentation took place over three weeks at temperatures between 13-15°C. No malolactic fermentation took place, and the wine spent a further three months in stainless steel tanks prior to bottling.

This Chardonnay is bright pale yellow with green hues. This wine has aromas of tropical fruit, apricots and pears. Lively and fresh acidity complements the wine’s persistent fruitiness and elegant finish.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£9.25

Chateau Los Boldos Tradition Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (1x75cl)

Château Los Boldos was founded in 1991 and is situated 100km south of Santiago in the foothills of the Cachapoal Andes. Working with a portion of old vines originally planted in 1948, the focus from the onset has been on the production of premium wines. The estate has been transformed since it was purchased by Sogrape in 2008. Renowned soil scientist and viticultural consultant Pedro Parra (of Clos des Fous) was brought in to assess the plots and match the right variety to the different soils around the estate. The type of rootstock, planting density, orientation and the frequency of irrigation were all within Pedro’s remit, and the results are now being seen in the wines, especially since Victor Arce, previously of Perez Cruz, joined as winemaker in 2015.

Los Boldos has 170 hectares of vineyards which benefit from a Mediterranean climate. The clear, bright skies during the summer and the high diurnal temperature range are ideal for growing fruit that maintains fresh acidity whilst ripening to perfection. The nearby Cachapoal river also moderates temperatures, while stony alluvial soils in the vineyard ensure low yields. Los Boldos makes wine exclusively from their own vineyards, therefore controlling everything from grape to bottle.

2017 was notable for the damaging fires that spread across large areas of Chile in the first part of the year. Fortunately there was no damage to the Cachapoal Andes area. A generally warm summer produced ripe fruit flavours and the grape harvest started earlier than usual.

The must was fermented at a cool 13-15°C for a lengthy three week period in stainless steel tanks to retain crisp, clean varietal flavours. It rested for another three months in tank with no malolactic fermentation. The resulting wine is zesty and fresh with a bright fruit profile.

This wine is bright pale yellow in colour with youthful hues. On the nose, it has fresh citrus fruit and orange blossom aromas. The concentrated fruit flavours are vibrant and lively on the palate, and the finish is crisp and fruity.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£9.25

De Gras Chardonnay 2017 (1x 75cl)

Crisp clean tropical fruit flavours of melon and pineapple on the nose and palate, with underlying vanilla wood tones. Medium-full bodied style, with a long lingering length. Ends crisp and refreshing.

The fruity aromas and balance of this wine make it an ideal aperitif but also allow it to be a good match with light seafood and poultry, salads and most pasta dishes - especially those with chicken.

£7.90

De Gras Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (1x 75cl)

Brothers Hernán and Eduardo Gras, along with partner Cristián Hartwig gave life to the Mont Gras winery in 1993, combining state of the art technology with the talent and passion of a very special group of people. With the inspiration of Hernán, who had a long winemaking trajectory in Canada, along with the entrepreneurial vision of his brother Eduardo and Cristián's pragmatic businesses view, they made a perfect combination that has converted MontGras into one of the major wine groups of Chile, with presence in the main wine regions of the country – Colchagua, Maipo and Leyda-, along with a high participation in international markets.

Grapes were handpicked in the morning and kept cool until pressing to conserve the fresh fruit. The free-run juice was kept separate from the press to preserve the highest quality achievable. The must was fermented at low temperatures of 12º C in stainless steel for approximately 15 days. The wine was filtered and fined before bottling.

Clear and bright in the glass with an aromatic nose that offers herbaceous characters alongside gooseberry, lychee and lemon aromas. The palate is dry, medium bodied and clean as a whistle as the grassy, lemon lime flavours are encouraged with a crisp structure that makes for a dangerously easy drinking, refreshing wine.

£7.90

De Gras Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2017 (1x 75cl)

“The philosophy is to create modern Chilean wines that offer exceptional quality and value. We have all the equipment and technology, but it’s the people that make the difference. Crafting wine is an art in which you must use all your senses,” says Hernan Gras, President and Winemaker at MontGras. Feedback from the experts would indicate the success of this approach.

Straw yellow in colour with delicate citrus and melon aromas and a hint of fresh cut grass. Well balanced melon, citrus and herbal notes with a crisp acidity that makes this wine racy and refreshing. Good volume that fills the palate giving a pleasant and lingering finish.

This wine drinks very well with shellfish - particularly prawns or lobster and will compliment salads, club sandwiches and pasta, particularly with chicken or ham.

£9.20

De Gras Viognier Reserva 2017 (1x75cl)

This exotic, sumptuously rich wine is packed with aromas of ripe tropical fruit and flowers. It is full bodied, dripping with juicy nectarine, melon and papaya flavours, finishing rounded and succulent.

£9.20

De Martino Estate Chardonnay 2016 (6x75cl)

De Martino winery was founded in 1934 by Pietro De Martino. He arrived in Chile, having travelled from Italy to look for the perfect property to satisfy his desire to make wine in the area.  He subsequently found his Isla de Maipo site just 50 km from Santiago in the Maipo Valley between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The vineyards stand on one of the former river tributarie as the unique soil characteristics are particularly well suited to growing grapes.  The winery is now in the hands of the third and fourth generations of the De Martino family.  

The De Martino Estate Chardonnay 2016 is light and fresh. There are aromas of melon and red apple. This is a well balanced wine with a good mouthfeel. The flavours are of fruit and citrus alongside an enjoyable level of minerality.

£52.30

De Martino Gallardia del Itata Moscatel Corinto 2016 (6 x 75cl)

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2018 edition article 30 Great New World Buys under £30 (see blue link below).

De Martino Gallardia Itata 2016 - Feb 2018 Decanter review

The philosphy of the De Martino family is simple but effective: "From the beginning of our winery in 1934, we have worked to create wines that represent us as a family. Our philosophy is summarized in creating wines that reflect their origin in the purest way possible, bringing origin and balance together. Our agricultural practices are based on organic principles and timely harvest, with the aim of achieving balanced wines. Our wines are exclusively fermented with native yeasts, disregarding enological components that may alter their personality. Likewise, aging is made in stainless steel, concrete, 5.000 litres foudres, used barriques (in average ten years old), so that the imprint of our wines reflects their origin without alterations."

This white wine is made using 70% Moscatel and 30% Corinto grapes from vines that were planted in 1905.

£68.90

De Martino Viejas Tinajas Muscat 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 96 points and rare Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition article on South America's Top Ten Winemakers  (see blue link below).

De Martino Viejas Tinajas Muscat 2016 - October 2017 Decanter review

Previous vintages have also seen outstanding reviews, these being awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in all of their 

a) October 2016 edition review of Itata (Chile) (2014 vintage)

b) January 2017 edition review of their Most Exciting Wines of 2016 (2015 vintage) and

c) April 2017 edition review of Chile (2015 vintage) (see blue links below).

De Martino Muscat Viejas Tinajas 2014 - October 2016 Decanter review 

De Martino Muscat Viejas Tinajas 2015 - January 2017 Decanter review

De Martino Muscat Viejas Tinajas 2015 - April 2017 Decanter review

Viejas Tinajas comes from the coastal vineyards of the Itata Valley located in the southern region of Chile; it is the cradle of the country's viticulture, with vines dating back to 1551. The area is characterized by a coastal climate, with high levels of rainfall, rolling hills and granite soils. A sustainable agriculture, including dry farming and ploughing with horses are practiced in the vineyards. This wine is fermented and aged in centennial earthenware jars (tinajas or amphorae), thereby rescuing the tradition of the first Chilean vine growers.

A remarkable ochre hue in the glass gives way to vibrant grapey aromas, floral notes and hints of honey. There is an impressive weight and on the palate, where the tantalising Muscat character comes through, followed by a touch of earthiness on the finish. So expressive and inviting with a nice tannin structure. This has real potential as an alternative aperitif or as an accompaniment for cheese.

Note: this wine is unusual as the above winemaking notes/reviews reveal. It is a) cloudy and b) does have unusual/esoteric yeasty flavours of fermentation (sherry/cider/beer-like). This is an intended effect. 

£15.85

Falernia Elki Pedro Ximenez 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2018 edition revie of Festive Buys (see blue link below).

Falernia PX Elqui Valley 2016 - January 2018 Decanter review

This Pedro-Jimenez exhibits a delicious balance of peachy lusciousness with crispness and length, which allows this wine to be enjoyed with a variety of foods or on its own.

£8.20

Falernia Elki Pedro Ximenez 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2016 vintage was Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2018 edition revie of Festive Buys (see blue link below).

Falernia PX Elqui Valley 2016 - January 2018 Decanter review

This Pedro-Jimenez exhibits a delicious balance of peachy lusciousness with crispness and length, which allows this wine to be enjoyed with a variety of foods or on its own.

£8.20

Falernia Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (1 x 75cl)

Founded in 1998, Viña Falernia has built a reputation as a high quality winery. Owner Aldo Olivier Gramola created Viña Falernia with his cousin Giorgio Flessati, a seasoned winemaker from the Trentino region in Northern Italy. Located in the Elqui Valley, Falernia remains one of Chile’s northernmost wine estates at 530 km North of Santiago. The Elqui Valley provides natural advantages to the growing process including dramatic contrasts between night/day temperatures and high quality of light. Viña Falernia spans over 320 hectares of vineyards, with the territories being divided into 4 distinct vineyards. First, the Titon vineyard lies at an altitude of 350 meters above sea level, 18 kilometers from the Pacific Ocean. The second and third sites, Puclaro and Pedregal respectively, move further into the valley and reach up to 560 meters above sea level. Finally, the fourth vineyard nestled in the Andes Mountains, Huanta, continues as one of the highest in the world at 2070 meters above sea level.

After the grapes had been picked by hand, they were immediately pressed (without crushing first), and then cold macerated for 12 hours at low temperature. The juice was clarified, stored on the lees for 72 hours then fermented in stainless steel tanks at temperature between 15-16ºC. Aging on the fine lees for 4/5 months with battonage and then blended, before finishing and bottling.

The Falernia Sauvignon Blanc has a brilliant yellow colour. The aromas are intense and are reminiscent of figs, elderflowers, grapefruit and sage. It has good flavours with citrus and melon notes, acidity and long crisp finish on the palate - it is a very opulent wine.

It works well with seafood and asparagus soup.

£9.90

Laberinto Las Cenizas Sauvignon Blanc, 2017 (1x75cl)

Rafael Tirado is the creator and winemaker of the boutique Laberinto, based in a stunning location overlooking Lake Colbun, Maule. Sited at the foothills of the Andes, 600m above sea level, this is considered the coolest spot in Chile, with wines of a naturally lower pH than the Leyda valley. High-density plantings on volcanic ash and clay impart an undeniable minerality to Rafael’s Sauvignon Blanc, which is gaining something of a cult following. The unusual curves (or labyrinths) of the vineyards - hence Laberinto - were planted to achieve more complexity through varying exposures of the fruit to the sun.

The grapes were hand harvested from vines that are now over 20 years old. The vineyard sits on soil comprising of volcanic ash (cenizas is ashes in Spanish).  After fermentation and pressing the grapes spend between four and six hours macerating in the press. The wine stayed in contact with its fine lees for three months before bottling.

A fresh profile with minerality, poise, and an intense yet subtle nose of citric, herbal and wet stone aromas. The palate is sharp and precise, vibrant and very focused with very high acidity that makes you salivate, it doesn''t dry your palate, it makes you want to keep drinking. Its very tasty, ending with a mineral, supple, almost saline note. It''s as if it were made out of stones, not grapes!

This wine goes particularly well with grilled seabass, asparagus and chips, young cheeses and Asian cuisine with herbs and lime.

£15.65
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