Other Red Blends from Chile, South America
Among the very best wines being produced in South America, a "garage wine" from the celebrated Chilean winemaker Álvaro Espinoza. Made with an organic blend of Carmenère (52%), Syrah (25%) , and Cabernet Sauvignon (23%). Aged in French barrels for twelve months, then cellared in the bottle for six months.
Antiyal has been a Wine Spectator favorite ever since since its release in 2000, earning 90+ points for every vintage.
The Wine Advocate - "Antiyal's 2007 Red Blend is made up of 52% Carmenere, 25% Syrah, and 23% Cabernet Sauvignon. A glass-coating opaque purple color, it proffers a brooding bouquet of mineral, scorched earth, herbs, smoked meat, and blueberry. This leads to a dense, savory, structured, full-flavored offering that will unwind for several more years and provide pleasure through 2027."
International Wine Cellar - "Deep, bright ruby. Sexy, highly perfumed aromas of blackberry and cherry preserves, smoky herbs, Asian spices and violet, plus a touch of licorice. Juicy, sharply defined red and dark berry flavors are complemented by cracked pepper, cinnamon and a kiss of candied flowers. Seductive, open-knit and delicious now, but this wine will be even better with a few more years of bottle age."
Wine Spectator - "Dark and slightly brawny, featuring mulled plum and currant fruit liberally laced with maduro tobacco, tapenade and charred mesquite notes. The brawny edge stretches out on the finish, with nice buried acidity keeping it all together. Should open up with modest cellaring. Carmenère, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2011 through 2013. 570 cases made. "
Wine Enthusiast - "The nose delivers a mix of herbal berry, cola and earth, while the palate is fresh and deep, with lightly medicinal cherry, cola, blackberry tobacco, mocha and more. Finishes rich and chocolaty, with a rush of textbook Chilean flavors including tobacco, herbs, olive and black fruits."
Wine & Spirits - "This vintage of Alvaro Espinoza's own biodynamic wine holds to the style of previous releases, with warm fruit flavors and a lush, friendly texture. Composed of 52 percent carmenère blended with syrah and cabernet, this is an herbal, spicy, black-fruited wine for lamb curry."
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Álvaro Espinoza is one of the finest winemakers in South America today, as well as one of the foremost biodynamic winemakers in the world. His celebrated wine Antiyal is often referred to as Chile's first "garage wine." Antiyal produces fewer than 400 cases of wine a year in the sleepy Maipo Valley town of Alta Jahuel. View all Antiyal Wines
About ChileView a map of Chile wineries (CHEE-lay)Long and thin, Chile has a lot of land north to south. The wine region here is a series of districts based near Santiago. The vineyards are protected by the Pacific on the west and the Andes mountains on the east. This could help explain why the climate changes more from east to west than north to south – also why the country has remained phylloxera free. Quite a few wineries in Chile were founded by large French wine companies. Seeing the potential of the country, vineyards were bought and planted by these French folks and the results tell of a smart investment. Some of these wineries include: Los Vascos, Casa Lapostolle and Cousino Macul. And while the inspiration may have been French, but the wines here are quite Chilean.
Photo of the sun break following morning fog over the vineyards of Veramonte Winery (located in the Casablanca Valley)
Notable FactsThe main regions of Chile include Maipo (pronounced MY-poh), known for reds like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere; Casablanca Valley, a region producing delicious Sauvignon Blanc, as well as other whites & some reds; Colchaugua, an inland district creating amazing red wines from Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, particularly in the Apalta sub-region; and Rapel Valley, settled right under Maipo and producing the same red varietals. A couple of smaller regions to watch include Limari and Elqui, two valleys further north, producing some delicious cool-climate Chardonnay and Bio Bio, an area further south, which is also focused on cool-climate varieties. Chilean wines are growing in exports and more consumers are enjoying the delicious values coming from the country. Red wines of the region, though they cannot be generalized, make the whole gamut of wine quality – quaffable to collectible. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Carmenere are the main players, though Syrah is also making a splash. Some of the best reds are blends of the above varieties. As for whites, Sauvignon Blanc is typically crisp, herbal and racy, while Chardonnay is richer in style with full-bodied texture and tropical fruit flavors.
About South AmericaRelated Links:
Young, organically farmed Carmenère at Chile's De Martino estate vineyard
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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