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Archive for ‘Discovering wines from Chile’

This wine is a steal!

Posted by Susan

Friday, September 7th, 2012
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Like Chardonnay? Look no further! Savvy Sommelier Susan Desjardins discovered this Chardonnay from Chile.  After one sip, she raves that this Chardonnay wine made by Cono Sur a great value for the price.  Here’s her tasting notes:


Cono Sur ‘Reserva’ Chardonnay 2011

Casablanca Valley
$12.95
LCBO#270066
13.5% alcohol

Recently released in the LCBO, this wine is a steal. The grapes were harvested from select parcels, 15% of the wine aged 5 months in oak. The enticing nose offers aromas of pear, apple crisp, kitchen spice and a whiff of butterscotch. Medium bodied, fresh and fruity, the crisp apple and lemon/lime flavours carry through on a lengthy lively finish.

 

Enjoy!
Susan

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Two outstanding Chilean red wines

Posted by Susan

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012
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At a recent wine tasting featuring Chilean wines, Savvy Sommelier Susan Dejardins learned that the modern wine industry began in Chile during the 1980’s with the arrival of Miguel Torres from Spain. He introduced state of the art technology, including stainless steel fermentation tanks and French oak barrels, and began transforming the vinification process. Chilean winemakers soon followed suit and the wine export industry began to flourish.

Today, winemakers and viticulturalists are searching for new ways to create wines with a unique sense of place, matching vines to soils, introducing new techniques, and planting vines in more challenging areas such as the higher slopes of the Andes.

 

Cono Sur ‘Reserva’ Syrah 2011

Colchagua Valley
$13.95
LCBO#221820
14.0% alcohol

Blended into this deep purple Syrah are small amounts of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenère. Aged 12 months in French oak, the rich ripe aromas of berries and black cherries, sweet spice, vanilla and pepper lift from the glass. Dry, mid-full weight, the wine is loaded with ripe dark fruit and the tang of black pepper. Subtly structured and nicely balanced, this is a tasty, approachable, easy-drinking wine.


Arboleda Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Aconcagua Valley
$18.95
LCBO#606764
14.0% alcohol

Blended with small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Syrah, this delicious wine spent 12 months in a combination of French and American oak. Alluring aromas of rich ripe spice-infused fruit, dried herbs and floral notes, cedar and vanilla tantalize the nose. Dry, medium-full bodied, it’s satin smooth and mouthfilling. There’s good complexity to the flavours—raspberry and blackcurrant, toasty oak, herbs and spice and a hint of pepper—and a fine balance of round tannins and fresh acidity. On the finish, it’s dry with lingering flavours of spiced fruit. Savour now or cellar short term. This wine was a hit at the wine and food pairing created by Sidedoor’s chef Korecki’s Dry aged striploin with raspberry pepper.

 

Enjoy!
Susan

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Chile’s history in the Making

Posted by Susan

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012
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Chile has a long history of winemaking, dating back to the arrival of Spanish, who found an ideal environment to grow vines. The soil was and is still free of phylloxera (a blight that decimated many of Europe’s vineyards in the late 1800s), and the climate provides the type of growing season that ensures full ripening of the fruit. Wealthy Chilean families looked to France as a model and soon imported a selection of rootstocks, just before the outbreak of phylloxera. In this manner, Carmenère came to Chile, where it prospered, misidentified as Merlot for decades.

Savvy Sommelier Susan Dejardins discovered during a wine tasting this delicious Carmenère red wine that she recommends picking up next time you are at the LCBO

Carmen ‘Reserva’ Carmenère 2011

Colchagua Valley
$11.45
LCBO#169052
14.0% alcohol

Dense and darkly hued, this is an aromatic wine with surprising complexity of aromas—spice, plum, blackberry jam, earth and notes of smoky roasted red peppers. Dry, medium-full weight, the round tannins and soft acidity frame ripe berry fruit garnished with notes of grilled spice, pepper and coffee bean. Another approachable, fruity wine that offers great value.

 

Enjoy!
Susan

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C is for Chile!

Posted by Susan

Monday, September 3rd, 2012
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This week we feature Chilean wines that Savvy Sommelier Susan Desjardins recently discovered when she was invited to a wonderful tasting hosted by Wines of Chile.

While Susan learned about the country & the culture while sipping & sampling on a range of Chilean wines, the host, Lisa Ulrich of Andros Communications, focused the tasting on Chile’s regional diversity. Susan shares what she learned about this country that is 4,300 km in length and only 177 km at its broadest point & offers recommendations of wines to purchase that are readily available at the LCBO for you to explore Chile too.

Wines of  Chile – Quality and Value in One Great Package

The tasting was held at Sidedoor Contemporary Kitchen & Bar in Ottawa’s Byward Market where chef Jonathan Korecki wowed the guests with the visually stunning and fabulously tasty food matches he created for the Chilean wines.

Chile is protected by the Atacama desert to the north, the Pacific to the west, the Andes to the east, and the Patagonian ice fields to the south. These natural features protect the vineyards from pests and disease and provide a geographic diversity that allows for tremendous variation in terroir.  Variations in altitude, the cooling effect of the Pacific currents, healthy well-drained soils all contribute to the success of the wine industry in this country. As a result of a benevolent climate and these natural barriers, Chile has become a centre of sustainability and organic viticulture.

A commitment has been made to a Sustainability Program, which includes close attention to the environment, the people and the economic bottom line. The goal is to be the number one producer of premium, sustainable and diverse New World wines by 2020. Fourteen Chilean wineries have now been certified in the first segment of the Sustainability Code, which pertains to vineyard management processes and management.

With many wines to choose from, here are two Sauvignon Blanc white wines that Susan recommends to pick up at the LCBO:

Errazuriz ‘Max Reserva’ Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Aconcagua Valley
$15.95
LCBO#273342
13.5% alcohol

Sourced from a hillside estate only 12 km from the Pacific Ocean, the wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged 3 months on the lees, providing a silky texture and good volume on the palate. Fragrant with tropical fruit and citrus aromas, this wine also proffers subtle herbal notes. Dry, medium bodied and tangy, the wine offers a lovely balance of refreshing acidity, soft texture and fine underlying minerality. Flavours of passionfruit and fresh herbs mingle on the lasting fresh finish.

 

Quintay ‘Q’ Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Casablanca Valley
$14.95
LCBO#276493
13.0% alcohol

More in the classic New Zealand style of Sauvignon Blanc, there’s bright pungency on the nose with aromas of nettles, herbs, fresh-mown grass mingling with citrus and tropical fruit. Zesty, fresh and vibrant in texture, the grassy notes replay, while grapefruit and passionfruit mingle on a pithy energetic finish. This was a great match to chef Korecki’s Papaya salad with torched albacore tuna sashimi.

 

 

Enjoy!
Susan

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