Wine Talk

Snooth User: Pedro Cidade

Who tried a REALLY GOOD 2007 Chilean wine?

Posted by Pedro Cidade, Jun 22, 2010.

Hello there!

The topic says it all. I´ve tried some good wines from the 2007 vintage, but nothing as amazing as the vineyards are talking. If you have tried anyone, please share your experience!!


Reply by StevenBabb, Jun 23, 2010.

i'm with you.... can't say anything was bind blowing.... they were good, especialy for the price point... rothschild makes some good stuff down there (reds are better than whites)....

i liked concha y toro's cab and carmenere....cosillero del diablo cab....

but i wouldn't call them mind blowing......

Reply by Girl Drink Drunk, Jun 23, 2010.

Haven't tried it yet, but I'd wager the 07 Lapostolle Clos Apalta is not going to suck.

Reply by dmcker, Jun 23, 2010.

Here's a 'reprint' from an earlier thread on 'What Do You Think about Chilean Wines'.

Reply by dmcker, Feb 17.

Last night I had a couple of Chilean reds that were just plain good wines, I thought, and a very interesting expression of a winemaker's vision. They were at an Italian restaurant produced by a half-Venezuelan, half-Sicilian friend (with American citizenship, living in Japan, go figure...). They weren't on the winelist but were brought over by an acquaintance of mine (and good friend of my friend), who is in the wine industry in Sudamerica (famous rum family from Venezuela). I had heard of one of the wines before but not the other, and had not had the pleasure of tasting either before last night, so it was all a most pleasant surprise. They both went extremely well with my bresaola, rucola and parmesan appetizer, followed by an excellent rack of lamb, then a few nibbles of cheese. Including another friend at the table there were four of us, and we liked the wine so much that we killed two bottles of each.

The wines were both young, the first from the 2007 vintage and the second from 2006, and both made by the same winemaker (Alvaro Espinoza) but under different labels. Would love to get a case each and lay them down for awhile, though that won't be easy here in Tokyo, and maybe most anywhere, since I believe we're talking artisanal production volumes of well less than 1,000 cases (like maybe half that, at least in the second wine's case, though I'm not sure for the first).

The first was a Chono San Lorenzo Maipo Valley, the second an Antiyal, also from Maipo. The Chono San Lorenzo was 50% carmenère, 20% syrah, 20% cabernet sauvignon and 10% cabernet franc. The Antiyal was 50% carmenère, 40% cabernet sauvignon and 10% syrah. The styles were distinctively similar. Robust, muscular heft, yet with silky finesse and excellent tannin/acid balance.

For the Chono San Lorenzo, crushed fruit, licorice, pencil lead and complex earthiness on the nose. Velvet texture, dark fruit (black cherries and plums particularly) and tobacco on the palate-- all-in-all a very long, sensual experience in the mouth. Overall a strong feel of a very particular Maipo terroir. Drinkable now but I definitely want to try it several years down the line.

The Antiyal had the benefit of another year of age. Again crushed fruit, smoke, earth and some floweriness on the nose. This time more red fruit (raspberries, red, not black, cherries and currants) on the palate. Again that signature sexiness in the mouth and particular terroir. The finish went on for a long time, getting sweeter along the way. Also quite drinkable now but will benefit from laying down, I strongly feel.

These are definitely not the mass-produced generic wines produced by the boatload from plantation-sized holdings being lambasted above. More like from a family farm, but one where the family has all sorts of esoteric, enlightened knowhow. My understanding is the Chono vines are older, well up in the Andean foothills, off the valley floor, in a horse-plowed vineyard amongst almond trees. I think you can find it in the States for a little north of $20, at which price it is a definite steal, for what by all indications is a very age-worthy wine. The Anityal is closer to $50, since it's been coddled by Wine Spectator ratings for awhile (and judging by my tasting last night it's likely the Chono will continue its rise since it used to be around $10, is now $20, and in the future...?). I believe both the Chono and the Antiyal are fully biodynamic, but ain't sure. Well worth plenty of investigations, as long as it includes liquid refreshment from the fruits of those vineyards while doing so. ;-)

Because of the limited production volume, certainly not the solution for all of us. But there definitely is 'hope' for Chilean wine, especially if more people expend efforts to make wine like this...

Read more:
Reply by StevenBabb, Jun 23, 2010.

i'm definitely writting those names down and keeping my eye out... thanks d!

Reply by JRomeo, Jun 23, 2010.

Had a Montes Malbec from Chile this past weekend. Actually, quite good and you can't beat the price at $10. they have a cab as well which I plan to try out soon.

Reply by outthere, Jun 23, 2010.

Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa has had a few Chono's in the past few months. I've picked up an 07 Maipo Cabernet Reserva $8.99 (released at $18.00) and an 07 Elqui Valley Syrah Reserva $8.99. 

Reply by outthere, Jun 23, 2010.

North Berkeley Imports has the 07 San Lornezo for $26.95

Reply by outthere, Jun 23, 2010.

Here is an article on the SL:

2007 Chono "San Lorenzo" Maipo Valley

Chile’s "First Growth"


Take your favorite, most noble Bordeaux estate and move it to the foothills of the Andes Mountains.

Decades ago that was the dream of Chilean landowners who saved vine cuttings from St. Emilion during their travels to plant them back home. Today “San Lorenzo” is that dream come true, a micro-micro-estate that crafts unforgettable wine in the mold of Bordeaux but with a spirit and soul that is entirely Chilean.

If you follow the top wines of Chile at all, you’ll know that one of the most sought-after bottles is Antiyal, made by Chile’s top enologist and artisan Alvaro Espinoza. Alvaro is the same man behind “San Lorenzo,” and many of the grapes in this succulent, sensational blend hail from the same organic vineyards.

It is a Bordeaux blend par excellence, and uniquely Chilean, as half of the blend is Carmenère—an ancient Bordeaux varietal since lost to the French but rediscovered and perfected in the Maipo Valley.

There are so few truly family estates in Chile—so many are plantation-sized, producing wine by the truckload—that “San Lorenzo” is especially prized because it is entirely hand-made, selected only from the finest grapes of the vintage and made in micro-quantities. Almond trees mix with older vines; a lone horse plows the rich, alluvial soils in between rows planted to native grasses. A wine as beautiful as the landscape from which it hails!

Alvaro's father originally planted the family's Carmenère and Cabernet Sauvignon vines; Alvaro has since added Syrah to the mix, and these vines today are in their prime. The combination of high-altitude conditions—the foothills of the Andes are practically on top of you as you gaze east—and cool mountain breezes means grapes ripen as slow as molasses.

The 2007 “San Lorenzo,” unquestionably a serious step up in quality and concentration from the wonderful 2005, as a result of its great terroir and equally stunning vintage year is endlessly long in the mouth and silky. A very serious wine that’s not without an immediately pleasing, sultry side—but definitely a bottle you want in your cellar today. 

Reply by napagirl68, Jun 23, 2010.

personally, none.  That is not to say they don't exist.  But living and drinking in CA, I have stopped my Chilean and Aussie search.  If I happen upon one accidentally, great.

Reply by borisg, Jun 25, 2010.

Santa Rita Casa Real 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon.  Really good wine. Complexity, good fruit and tannin structure. And very well balanced.

Especially great deal, when you consider its sub $20 price point.  I have to look in the $40 and above range to find a comparable Cali Cab!.


Reply by dmcker, Jun 25, 2010.

Sounds good, Boris. Am curious, though, is this the winemaker that forced the change in Santa Barbara-area appelation name from "Santa Rita Hills" to "Sta. Rita Hills"_

Reply by shoconnor, Jun 25, 2010.

Montes Alpha (Apalta Vineyard) Cabs and Syrahs are terrific values, found from the high teen$ to mid $20's.  My favorite big Chilean Cab is the VIÑA QUEBRADA DE MACUL 2005 Domus Aurea (Maipo Valley), which I found at $37 wholesale in Arizona.  It has big notes of leather, tar and mint; a formidable wine.

Reply by Mr Lee, Jun 25, 2010.

My palate enjoys anything from Montes. I seem to find a lot good wine from the Colchagua Valley. Los Vascos comes to mind and I really like the 06 Primus Veramonte, it is a blend of 36% Cab Sauv, 31% Syrah, 17% Merlot and 16% Carmenere. This a very big wine, heavy fruit, intense heat though (14.5 % Alc.) good and spicy with a long lingering finish. Cost is around $18.00. It went well with a BBQ of spicy ribs and steaks.

Reply by AdamJefferson, Jun 26, 2010.

I suspect this falls under the factory farm label, but I had a very good bottle of Santa Rita Medalla Real (2007 even, I believe) a few months ago and enjoyed it very much.  It ran a bit heavy on the tannins and fruit, but with some air it got smoother.  A great steak wine.  Costs $15-20. 

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