Wines of Chile Recap

Exploring Chilean wine with Fred Dexheimer


If you missed our virtual tasting last week with the Wines of Chile and Master Sommelier Fred Dexheimer, you missed an action and information packed hour!

Fred and I had a great time discussing the terroir of Chile and tasting our way through two pairs of classic Chilean reds, just in time for autumn.

The wines we tasted began with a pair of Carmenere wines. The first of which was open, obvious and marked by the unique character of Carmenere. This Casa Lapostolle Casa Carmenere was a killer light wine, and one I’m looking forward to trying with some BBQ. The second, Terra Noble Gran Reserva, was a distinctly denser, more opulent and riper style of wine.
These two wines come from two disparate regions of the country: the Rapel Valley, the warmer of the two and home to more classic expressions of Carmenere, and the Maule Valley, cooler and far to the south. Though this region might not be famous for Carmenere yet, as Fred let us know, it is turning out to be quite the secret among old vine planting aficionados. Many French staples, like both Carignan and Cinsault, are currently being re-discovered in the Maule Valley.

During the virtual tasting, Fred further explained this discovery, delving into just how the Carmenere grape, an expat of Bordelaise, ever made its way to Chile.

We also tasted another French grape that you might be familiar with, Cabernet Sauvignon. This second pair of wines showed a range of styles similar to that displayed by the pair of Carmeneres. The Los Vascos was elegant and refined, while the Santa Carolina was more intense, opulent and structured. As with the Carmeneres, this was due to the great terroir of Chile. And perhaps the investment of the Rothschild family, of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, had something to do with the distinctly old-world aspect of the Los Vascos.

With Fred’s expert guidance, we learned not only where Chile is making great wine, but also how. Take the time to further explore Chile with Fred and I, it was a virtual tasting worth viewing again!

Wines tasted:

Casa Lapostolle Casa Carmenere, Rapel Valley 2008

Los Vascos Grand Reserve, Colchagua Valley 2008
(Cabernet, Carmenere, Syrah, Malbec)

Santa Carolina Reserva de Familia Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo Valley 2008
(Cabernet Sauvignon with 5% Cabernet Franc)

Terra Noble Gran Reserva Carmenere, Maule Valley 2009

(Carmenere with 4% Cabernet Sauvignon)

Mentioned in this article


  • Snooth User: Kristin Watts
    Hand of Snooth
    854949 2,200

    Thank you Greg and Fred! This was a lovely way to spend a Thursday night on the brink of Autumn and red wine season!
    I have the Casa Lapostolle and Santa Carolina Reserva de Familia at the ready for some good fall cooking this week. Any suggestions for meals/accompaniments with either wine besides BBQ?

    Sep 19, 2011 at 2:44 PM

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