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Kingston Family Cariblanco Sauvignon Blanc 2008

Sauvignon Blanc from Chile
  • RP90
14.5% ABV
  • JS90
  • WE91
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

While both 2008 and 2007 gave us low yields in the vineyard, the way those low yields played out in the wines is quite different. The 2007 had a steely intensity that the 2008 does not have. In its place is a somewhat more gentle quality, still with plenty of the citrusy/minerally/spicy quality that seems to be definitive of the vineyard but with a mouthfeel that is, well, softer. I think it will probably open up more quickly than the 2007 did. Like always, Cariblanco strikes me as having one foot in the new world, with its vibrant fruitiness, and one foot in the old world, with the minerally and waxy notes, somewhat reminiscent of Sancerre.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Light straw color; baking spices, grapefruit, lemon-lime; lively acidity, crisp, balanced.
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Kingston Family

Kingston Family

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Kingston Family, Chile
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The Kingston Family first came to Chile in the early 1900's. Carl John Kingston, the patriarch and pioneer, came to Chile looking for copper (good idea) and gold (crazy idea). "Gramps" Kingston was an American originally from Central Mine, Michigan, which exists only as a ghost town today in Michigan's upper peninsula.

The Kingstons settled in Casablanca in the 1920's. One of Gramps's dreams of finding the "Gramps" Kingston motherlode yielded a 7,500 acre ranch with a herd of cattle, but no gold. Rumor has it that there is some gold deep down under "the Farm", but it is apparently so far down that maybe our great-great-grandchildren will hit pay-dirt.

Through the years, generations of Kingstons have been raised in the "casa patronal" on the Farm in Casablanca. Our wine's label is inspired by this old house still standing today.

One of South America’s most important wine-producing countries, Chile is a reliable source of both budget-friendly wines and premium bottlings. Spanish settlers, Juan Jufre and Diego Garcia de Cáceres, most likely brought Vitis vinifera (Europe’s wine producing vine species) to the Central Valley of Chile some time in the 1550s. But Chile’s modern wine industry is largely the result of heavy investment from the 1990s.

Long and narrow, Chile is geographically isolated, bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Andes Mountains to the east and the Atacama desert to the north. These natural borders allowed Chile to avoid the disastrous phylloxera infestation in the late 1800s and as a result, vines are often planted on their own rootstock rather than grafted (as is the case in much of the wine producing world).

Chile’s vineyards vary widely in climate and soil type from north to south. The Coquimbo region in the far north contains the Elqui and Limari Valleys, where minimal rainfall and intense sunlight are offset by chilly breezes from the Humboldt Current. While historically focused solely on Pisco production, today this area finds success with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Aconcagua region contains the eponymous Aconcagua Valley—hot and dry and home to full-bodied red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot—as well as Casablanca Valley and San Antonio Valley, which focus on Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The Central Valley is home to the Maipo, Rapel, Curicó and Maule Valleys, which produce a wide variety of red and white wines. Maipo in particular is known for Carmenère, Chile’s unofficial signature grape. In the up-and-coming southern regions of Bio Bio and Itata make excellent Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Sauvignon Blanc

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A crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character, Sauvignon blanc is responsible for a vast array of wine styles. However, a couple of commonalities always exist—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. The variety is of French provenance, and here is most important in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley. It also shines in New Zealand, California, Australia and parts of northeastern Italy. Chile and South Africa are excellent sources of high-quality, value-priced Sauvignon blanc.

In the Glass

From its homeland In Bordeaux, winemakers prefer to blend it with Sémillon to produce a softer, richer style. In the Loire Valley, it expresses citrus, flint and smoky flavors, especially from in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume. Marlborough, New Zealand often produces a pungent and racy version, often reminiscent of cut grass, gooseberry and grapefruit. California produces fruity and rich oak-aged versions as well as snappy and fresh, Sauvignon blancs, which never see any oak.

Perfect Pairings

The freshness of Sauvignon Blanc’s flavor lends it to a range of light, summery dishes including salad, seafood and mild Asian cuisine. Sauvignon Blanc settles in comfortably at the table with notoriously difficult foods like artichokes or asparagus. When combined with Sémillon (and perhaps some oak), it can be paired with more complex seafood and chicken dishes.

Sommelier Secret

Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is the proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (an herbaceous aromatic compound) inherent to each member of the family.

MSKLFK_2008 Item# 108979