If you ever thought Chile was just Carmenere, you would be sorely mistaken according to the wine flights of the Premium Tasting in Santiago last week. Thirty of the top scoring wines came out to play in the blind tasting, and not one of them was pure Carmenere! There were blends of all sorts and a host of different single varieties including Sauvignon Blanc, Carignan, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Malbec, and Cinsault. What shone at this tasting was diversity.
What tends to happen with the top scoring wines of a country is that the wines are dominated by one variety – in the case of Argentina, it is Malbec. However Chile is clearly onto something else.
There was not only diversity in the varieties but in the valleys and styles of wine. ‘Ten years ago all of these Carignan would have tasted very similar,’ said one of the presenters, journalist Patricio Tapia, ‘today we see a huge range of styles, which hopefully reflect all the different terroirs.’
The other presenter at the tasting, and south America’s only Master Sommelier, Hector Vergara reflected on his long experience in tasting Chile’s wines and how the wines today are at a new level: ‘Today we have a great range of truly worldclass wines that we as Chileans can be proud to show the world.’
This was the first Premium Tasting to be held in Santiago, after several editions in Mendoza, and creator Nicolas Aleman confirms that they will be continuing for years to come: “It went really well and we are already planning the tasting for next year in June. We are going to add a day of talks and seminars, like we do in Mendoza, for next year as well. Everyone has given us really positive feedback – from the attendees and the wineries. We are very pleased and look forward to continuing in the future!”
The next Premium Tasting is in Mendoza, in August, where there will be two days of the event: the first day of talks and seminars, and the second day of tasting.
The wines tasted: