The color is intense ruby with fine brilliance and orange nuances. The nose explodes with fruit: black cherry and blackcurrant (Cabernet), strawberry (Malbec), raspberry (Syrah), plum light mint and black pepper (Carmenère). The oak doesn't overpower the fruit contributes delicious aromas of tobacco, cinnamon, and crème brûlée (vanilla, caramel and chocolate). The rich hand creamy taste is fresh and very intense, well structured and finishes with a fruit intensity of raspberries and cherries accompanied by a touch of liquorice and walnut skin. It is very dynamic and still very
young. This juicy and luscious wine is delicious to taste now but the tannins still need to mature for a while before it becomes ideal for drinking (2009).
Los Vascos Winery
Los Vascos traces its roots to approximately 1750 and to the original vineyard of Miguel Echenique. The vineyard passed down through the family throughout the succeeding centuries.
The acquisition of 50% of Los Vascos by Rothschild (Lafite) in 1988 was the result of a careful search among more than one hundred Chilean wines for one that could meet their criteria for excellence. A team of winemakers from Domaine Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) control the viticulture, harvest, maceration, fermentation and aging of the wines at Los Vascos. Strict control of yields from the estate and adherence to the winemaking techniques of Chateau Lafite result in wines of high quality, whose characteristics do not escape connoisseurs. All production is estate bottled.
View all Los Vascos Wines
Photo of the sun break following morning fog over the vineyards of Veramonte Winery (located in the Casablanca Valley)
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.
The 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.
Young, organically farmed Carmenère at Chile's De Martino estate vineyard
Chile & Argentina are the regions producing the most wine coming out of the continent. The wines from this area are good value with a distinctive taste. They create new world wines with old world character.
I recently selected this wine for a tasting my wife had here at the house. Her friends are not wine drinkers and this was at the “high end” for them. We very much enjoyed the intense ruby color, hints of anise and tobacco, and just how smooth the wine felt on the palate. We did not serve any food during the tasting, but I would highly recommend pork tenderloin with a sweet sauce. I will also allow my second bottle to cellar for another year. I feel it will handle the aging and improve the flavors.
Most 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.