So, over the past few days, the group that I am with, as well as myself, have been tasting wines from Chile. With that in mind, these are my reviews of the wines. Over time, I will bring in some of these wines so that you can see for yourself that there is inherent quality and value for what Chile has to offer!

 

In recent times, Chile has seen a spike in popularity, not only in the United States, but all over the world. China, the United Kingdom, and Japan have really taken to the wines from Chile. Concha y Toro has really spearheaded this movement to introduce Chilean wine to other cultures, and it has taken hold to the point where smaller producers can really show off their artisan assortment of wines, featuring Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, and of course, Carmenere.

 

2016 was quite a challenging year for Chile. El Nino, and subsequently, wet conditions really inhibited the vines, making it more of a winemaker’s vintage, rather than just a good year for the vines in general. Areas where either harvest was early, or areas that could drain better largely escaped the El Nino season, but in some cases, wineries lost as much as 25% of their crops.

 

I will mark wine prices as follows:

*= Less than $20

**= Between $20-40

***= $40-$75

 

One more thing. Try to measure quality for the price. An 84 point wine for $8 I think is a rare and great find as opposed to an 84 point wine for $30, which is a “pass” in my book. The following is a list of wines tasted in Chile over the past few days:

 

2017 Crucero Sauvignon Blanc, Curico Valley*

Bottled in April 2017. Crisp, light ginger tones with pineapple. Very light and easy drinking.

85 Points

 

 

2016 Siegel Family Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Reserve, Leyada Valley*

Herbacious Sauvignon Blanc with a vegetable note on the nose, leading to asparagus. More traditional Chilean style with high acid on the palate coupled with lemon, making it delicious with ceviche.

86 Points

 

 

2017 Rubus Chardonnay, Colchagua Valley*

Light, apple notes and with 3 grams of sugar per liter, this is a crisp, almost off-dry wine that is crisp.There is very little oak on this wine and it is almost non-apparent. Perfect summer wine for the price.

84 Points

Our Price: 8.99

 

 

2016 Siegel Family Vineyards Viognier, Colchagua Valley*

Honeyed, perfume-y nose. Not incredibly well integrated and there really isn’t enough going on in the glass.

78 Points

 

 

2016 Seigel Family Vineyards Pinot Noir, Special Reserve, Leyada Valley*

Not as smoky as a traditional Chilean Pinot Noir. Very young in its appearance. Actually very nice fruit without the seemingly endless line of smoke behind it that I tend to find in Chilean Pinot Noirs. Cranberry is apparent and really plays well with the acid in the wine.

88 Points

 

 

2016 Crucero Cabernet Sauvignon*

Dark chocolate nose. Blackberry fruit comes out like a championship fighter comes out of the corner! Good fruit, nicely balanced, and for the pricepoint, a perfectly nice everyday wine.

86 Points

 

 

2016 Crucero Carmenere*

Smoky nose with hints of blueberry that go into a wine that is on the lighter side of red. I think that the Cabernet Sauvignon had a little more going on.

82 Points

 

 

2015 Seigel Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Uber Cuvee”*

85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah

Cedar notes on the nose with a healthy amount of glycerin. Well-integrated with solid tannins and fruit. A little short on the nose, but it hangs around long enough to make you want more.

87 Points

 

 

2016 Seigel Family Vineyards Carmenere Special Reserve**

This wine was disjointed, but probably only because it was bottled a week ago. No score will be given currently.

 

 

2016 Seigel Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva Especial**

A little subtle at first, but quickly explodes with blueberry, blackberry, and currant powering through to the finish. This wine will evolve nicely over the next 5-7 years.

90 Points

 

 

2016 Siegel Red Wine Reserve “1234,” Colchagua*

50% Syrah, 30% Carmenere, 10% Petit Verdot, 10% Cabernet Franc

Incredibly easy to drink. Kind of an American cuvee style that was bottled 3 weeks ago. Perfectly nice little blend that comes off a touch sweet, but it is food friendly enough for something off the grill.

87 Points

 

 

2013 Seigel Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Los Lingues” Vineyard**

Double Decanted and tasted as part of a vertical. Graphite nose with nice blueberries. Nice splash of acid, as it gives it a very nice balance. This will drink nicely for another 5 years.

91 Points

 

 

2014 Seigel Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Los Lingues” Vineyard**

Double Decanted and tasted as part of a vertical. Tobacco and cedar notes. Nice fruit and while not as well-balanced as the 2013, I think that both the tannins and fruit will continue to develop favorably. Nothing but upside potential for this wine.

90+ Points

 

 

2015 Seigel Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Los Lingues” Vineyard**

Double Decanted and tasted as part of a vertical. Cedar and soft currant notes. Very nice balance between fruit and minerality! Graphite tones really make this a wonderfully complex wine that will age well over the next 10 years!

92 Points

 

 

2015 Seigel Family Vineyards Carmenere “Los Lingues” Vineyard**

Sweet fruits on the nose. A little fruitier in style than the 2014. The 2015 maintains elegance with a well-integrated finish that just really stays with you through the finish. Drink over the next 10 years.

 

 

2014 Seigel Family Vineyards Carmenere “Los Lingues” Vineyard**

Serious tar and tobacco nose. Meaty notes with a lengthy finish. It feels as though this wine was made for pate de campagna, but loses a little of its Carmenere identity overall.

87 Points

 

 

2011 Gran Crucero “Unique Selection”***

Tasted as part of a vertical

45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Carmenere, 20% Syrah

Almost like a little mole sauce action going on with the nose. Soft, subtle and ushering in a lot of green pepper. The Carmenere really takes the blend over, and overshadows the Cabernet Sauvignon.

84 Points

 

 

2012 Gran Crucero “Unique Selection”***

Tasted as part of a vertical

45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Carmenere, 20% Syrah

Chocolate and coffee nose. Quite enjoyable, even though it drinks a little hot. A perfectly nice wine, but it is ultimately lacking to the 2013.

88 Points

 

 

2013 Gran Crucero “Unique Selection”***

Tasted as part of a vertical

45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Carmenere, 20% Syrah

Dark chocolate/cocoa nibs on the nose. There is a very nice little burst of acid on the mid-palate. The tannins are nice and the finish is really appealing.

91 Points

 

 

2014 Gran Crucero “Unique Selection”***

Tasted as part of a vertical

45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Carmenere, 20% Syrah

Much stronger flavor on the nose than the other Gran Cruceros. Incredibly complex with notes of cocoa, pepper, and dark fruits. Like the 2013, a really nice pop of acid and fruit. The French oak is there, but very subtle, giving a nice little kiss of vanilla. Just a very well put together wine.

93 Points

 

 

2013 Siegel Family Vineyards Icono Keltran***

30% Cabernet Franc

90% French Oak, 10% American Oak

Big, extracted nose of cherry, fig, currant, with just a hint of milk chocolate. Big flavors of beef, grass, dark fruit and glycerin go a VERY long way for a VERY long finish. Surprising that this wine wasn’t higher in alcohol because I was expecting it to go to about 16%, but really goes only to 14.2%. For a “golden halo” wine, the Icono Keltran goes a long way to show its quality over other wines in this class for a significantly lower price.

96 Points