While we might not get the organic delights of Whole Foods down in the Southern Hemisphere, if you are in the US – keep reading! Over the last month Whole Foods has been showcasing a selection of Chilean wines that are on offer until the end of October. The 9 bottle selection was curated by Whole Foods buyers Doug Bell and Devon Broglie MW, however while we were in the US with 80 Harvests we managed to get our hands on 6 of them – so here’s our Squeeze on some of the wines on offer at Whole Foods right now:
Autoritas Pinot Noir 2015, Valle Central
Autoritas is not a brand we knew from Chile, but the profile of Pinot is. This simple, fruit-forward Pinot Noir comes from Chile’s warmer Central Valley wine regions where you’ll find crowd pleasing wines delivering good quality for normally very reasonable price points. This wine is on sale for $8 in Whole Foods, which is pretty great value for a pleasing Pinot like this. A soft, ripe and fruit-forward wine that will serve you well at a party.
Drink with: Light pasta dishes and party nibbles
Boya Pinot Noir 2014, Leyda Valley
Boya has been on our radar for a few years as one of our go-to summertime Chilean Pinots. Boya is a special line of wine made by Garces Silva winery in Leyda, San Antonio, with consultant winemaker Rafael Tirado. We already have a full tasting note online, but as a recap: Boya is fresh and fruity with great acidity. It is not a pretentious Pinot but it has the serious soils of Leyda to back it up, with the cooler influence of the coastal climate.
Drink with: This is a versatile wine – great with light dishes, sushi, pasta and a personal favourite – white pizza!
Criterion Carmenere 2014, Colchagua
Criterion is the single variety line of Whole Foods, showcasing popular wine varieties from regions around the world. Naturally they picked a Carmenere for Chile, and this version comes from the Colchagua valley which is possibly the most emblematic spot for the once-forgotten French variety. Rich with ripe red berries and Christmas spice, this is a fuller Carmenere that sells for $14.
Drink with: Thanksgiving is around the corner in the US, and Carmenere is a good variety for turkey and stuffing!
Mayu Carmenere-Syrah 2014, Elqui
Mayu is tucked up in the heights of Elqui valley, where the clear sky offers amazing star gazing and great purity of light. The grapes benefit from that altitude and sunlight, producing an intensely coloured and aromatic red blend in this case. With both Carmenere and Syrah this wine offers a medley of fresh red fruits and darker fruits, and plenty of spice, with an attractive finish. It offers real bang for its buck at $13.
Drink with: This is perfect with a BBQ, it is versatile and juicy.
Erasmo Reserva de Caliboro 2010, Maule
Erasmo is the passion project of Count Cinzano (you can check out our interview with him here) in the heart of Maule. This red blend is dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon and really tastes like Chile in a glass! A cocktail of red and forest fruits (think blueberry, blackberry, plum and cherry!) laced with spice, this wine is still full of life even after a few years in the bottle. At $20 a bottle, you can buy a couple to try one now and cellar the other for a few years more.
Drink with: Dark roast meats with rich berry jus
De Martino Estate Organic Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Maipo
Marcelo Retamal and the winemaking team at De Martino have been leaning towards making a leaner style of red wines for the last few years, and this excellent entry-level Cabernet Sauvignon is a triumph. With a fruit focus that isn’t too showy or flamboyant, it is a very attractive wine that gives you ultimate gluggability with a juicy finish that invites you to pour another glass. Coming from Chile’s Cabernet cradle, in Maipo, this is a real expression of Chile’s natural ability to make great Cab.
Drink with: Another wine with great versatility, this will go with most dishes – and certainly tastes great with lamb burgers and rosemary flatbread.
There are three other Chilean wines in Whole Foods at the moment, we didn’t get the chance to try them but if you have please leave your wine notes and comments below!
Odfjell Amador Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Casablanca
Viña Errazuriz MAX Chardonnay 2015, Aconcagua Costa
Casa Silva Los Lingues Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Colchagua
**Tasting side note: We were sent the samples while on tour with 80 Harvests in the US