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The Cellar: Chilean Finds For Only $10

Saturday, November 10, 2012


You won't believe the incredible flavors to be gotten for only $10, but that is the beauty of wines from Chile.

What does ten bucks buy you in today’s market? A good wine from Chile, that what! This week ‘The Cellar’ is focusing on Value Wines with a capital "V". More specifically, we will be looking at 2 readily available Chilean wines that cost around $10 each. If you have an interest in wine and would like to learn more in a fun and relaxing atmosphere you should consider attending one of the tastings hosted by the Providence Wine Academy.

2011 Cono Sur Bicycle Pinot Noir, Central Valley, Chile

This week’s first wine is a dirty little cheap Pinot (meant in the best way possible) from Cono Sur Vineyards & Winery. I would pay $10 just to take in the aromas. Robert Parker’s International Wine Cellar gave

this wine 87 points describing the nose as displaying ‘musky herbs’ – what a spot-on description. Usually wines in this price range are ‘designed’ to please in every way possible. Not this wine. On the palate the wine is soft, medium-bodied and straightforward, displaying nice sour cherries on the midpalate with a hint of green bell pepper, olives and sweet black licorice. For an inexpensive wine it has remarkable structure and length.

This is one of those wines that I normally wouldn’t make a big deal about. Long-time readers know that I tend to gravitate towards smaller producers who source their grapes from specific regions and make their wines the traditional way. This wine is far from that as Cono Sur is one of the biggest wineries in Chile and largest producers Pinot Noir in the world. The grapes are sourced from the entire Central Valley, also known as the ‘wine factory’ of Chile. All that being said I am not one to shy away when I see a great $10 value – and that’s exactly what this is.

2009 Emiliana Natura Sauvignon Blanc, Casablanca Valley, Chile

This week’s second wine is from Emiliana Vineyards. While still a large producer, these guys are nowhere near the size of Cono Sur. At Emiliana Vineyards they are dedicated to sustainable, organic, and

biodynamic agricultural practices. Their wines labeled ‘Natura’ is a series of certified organic wines. If you want to know more about organic and biodynamic winegrowing practices, check out their interactive webpage that does a really good job explaining all the ins and outs.

Sauvignon Blanc grows best in cool climates and in Chile some of the best examples are from Casablanca Valley located approximately 50 miles northwest of Santiago. This region is responsible for a lot of the crisp white wines that the country produces. Its proximity to the Pacific Ocean creates a stable maritime climate with cool temperatures and foggy mornings – conditions close to ideal for growing Sauvignon Blanc. Emiliana’s Nature Sauvignon Blanc is another good value. Despite being an ’09, this $10 wine still has a lot of vigor in it. It is very clean and refreshing, although perhaps a bit simple, displaying grapefruits and a hint of basil on the finish.


Steffen Rasch CSW is ready to answer any wine-related questions, comments or concerns you may have. Feel free to email him at [email protected]. And as always, don’t forget to follow GoLocalProv’s Wine Cellar on Facebook and sign up for one of his tastings through the Providence Wine Academy.


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