South American Discovery (Tier 1) 12 btls: REDUCED

South American Discovery (Tier 1)

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Price: ¥1,075

A wonderful value-laden trip through the fruit-bowls of Argentina and Chile with some noble and some novel grapes. Argentina Flag thumb 60x30

South America is the number 1 region when it comes to value. And now this continent is also Chile flag thumbhitting superb new heights for quality, driven by improvements in wine making skills.

This is where both Carmenere and Malbec reach their ultimate expressions. Steak and red wine

A great introduction to the increasing variety of the region and soooooo good with a steak…

Please click on the wines listed below to extend/retract descriptions. 

1x Callia Osaado Chardonnay Argentina, San Juan

Callia is one of the wineries of the season as far as we are concerned and one we fully intend to watch develop into master crafts-folk, despite their relatively large operation.

This is a fresh and fruity wine, lush with intense aromas of citrus and tropical fruits. Its delicate, satisfying mouth-feel is enhanced by a lingering finish.

This might well be the best low price Chardonnay we have. It’s good enough to drink on its own.

March 2012: More than anything else, when I look at a wine in this price bracket, it’s usually about what I don’t want to see in the wine. So far, after 3 or 4 bottles, I can report that those negative elements are happily absent.

May 2012: with a little bottle age, some settling down after journeying here from Argentina and warmer weather this wine is coming into it’s own. It is refreshing, flavoursome and aromatic.

September 2013: the new 2012 vintage shows, as the grapes age, just how much an extra 2 years of maturity, has brought on the flavour development nicely.

1x Callia Alta Shiraz/Malbec Argentina, San Juan

Tasting Intense violet wine with ruby tints. It is a wine of great aromatic intensity. Its prevailing penetrating and vigorous notes are ripe blackberries, plums and figs, which, together with their sweet tannins and balanced acidity, render a full-bodied wine with a long finish.

Food Matching:  Perfect with pasta in rich sauce.

I don’t think it is possible to find a trustier everyday glugging wine that can be enjoyed by lovers of both Old and New World styles. We sell a lot of this wine. Since its introduction late spring 2011, it has quickly has become our 2nd top selling red wine. My wife now has her own collection of this wine.

Note: Won 2nd place in a serious Shanghai tasting competition for sub ¥100 wines. Callia is a winery to watch.

1x Torres Hemisferio Sauvignon Blanc Chile, Central Valley

Here’s a brand that I have really watched develop for a couple of years. Each vintage since 2010, more accomplished than the last. Now, at last, not only ‘delivering‘, but ‘astonishing‘ for the money.

A fresh, floral wine with a fruity body and a silken palate of great finesse. Displays intriguing notes of exotic fruits (passion fruit, grapefruit). Its silky palate is exquisitely intense, with a good acidic structure and a prolonged, joyous finish.

And to top it all, Torres supports the Chilean Patagonian wilderness. Ethics; that’s what we like!

Nov 2011: Tasting this right now, 4 days after opening, the acidity has diminished a little or the softer fruit notes have developed into a rather pretty partnership.

January 2013: This really has developed and begun to exceed the San Medin SB for expression. cheaper too…….!

1x Salentein Portillo Malbec Argentina, Mendoza Silver medal 2013 & Bronze Medal 2014

Portillo Malbec is a steady favourite among our customers, particularly through the colder winter months. It is also a staple of the Wine Bars we supply where the fruit forward style with supportive acidity is very welcome at this price.

It has an interesting ruby-red colour with violets tints. Wine of great structure, well-balanced acidity and long finish. The nose is rich in fruits, with reminiscences of plum, black fruits and blackberries and violets from the Uco Valley. At the start of mouth, its tannins feel soft and pleasant, with marked roundness at the finish and a strong fruity after-taste.

Food Matching: Perfect with pasta in rich sauce.

1x BP Rothschild Mapu Cabernet Sauvignon Chile, Maipo

This is from a German website:

Beautiful dark red. Aromas of black currant, blackberries and blueberries. The taste is fresh and elegant, with round and soft tannins that gives the wine excellent balance. The long and expressive finish rounds off a wonderful fruity and powerful wine.

The site also goes on to say that mechanically harvested grapes are fermented at high temperature in stainless steel barrels for a ‘long time’ (to protect good balanced tannin structure) then spends 7 to 8 months ageing in stainless steel; this wine receives no oak at all. So, a lot of fruit, jammy almost with a hint of  mint;  no tobacco or cigar box notes. Its inexpensive to find out for yourself. Me, I thought that for the price it was absolutely lovely, easy to drink and had enough interest to keep me satisfied. Great value in Chile at the moment.

1x BP Rothschild Mapu Merlot Chile, Maipo

A bright and clear ruby red. Fresh and seductive, combining red berry fruit aromas with touches of vanilla. The refined mid-palate reveals cherry flavours perfectly complemented by a suggestion of toast and supported by mature tannin, building to a well-balanced and elegant finish.

I had to rely on Dave for this one as I don’t actually drink Merlot as a rule: Keep it under your hat. Each to his own and all that. Thanks Dave. Sounds absolutely lovely.

1x Callia Osaado Shiraz Argentina, San Juan

This wine has a purplish-red colour with bluish tints. Its nose features prunes and the spicy aromas typical of Shiraz. The mouth-feel shows a strong presence of fruits and medium structure, and is complex and creamy.

All true: but what it does not say is that (despite a rather irritating design for the bottle’s wine label) the contents inside the bottle are OK. Don’t be put off by the exterior. We so often buy with our eyes and I had to force myself to try this. Of course, the price helps ease the risk, but it’s a risk well worth taking. It won’t set the world on fire but it won’t disappoint anyone either.

Spicy fruity with some backbone from the house of Callia.

1x B.P. Rothschild Mapu Red (Cab Sauv / Carmenere) Chile, Maipo

Your chance perhaps to have your first glimpse of Carmenere.

We would have to say that The Rothschild forays into Chile have been great for the consumer. They are, in the Mapu range, producing the golden bullet wines we seek: low cost wines punching above their weight in a sturdy, consistent and agreeable way.

Very attractive ruby red with a violet tint. Rich and generous, an explosion of red fruit, blackcurrant and blackberry mingled with subtle, spicy notes. A fresh, round and fruity attack.

Elegantly structured by the Cabernet Sauvignon, on the mid-palate the wine displays the velvet, silky tannins typical of Carmenère picked at optimum ripeness. Very pleasant overall balance, the harmonious finish lingering on the richness and freshness of the fruit. Fabulous.

2x B.P. Rothschild Mapu White (Sauvignon Blanc/Chardonnay) Chile, Maipo

We would have to say that The family Rothschild forays into Chile have been great for the consumer. They are in the Mapu range producing the golden bullet wines we seek: low cost wines punching above their weight in a sturdy, consistent and agreeable way.

Bright, brilliant pale yellow. Fresh and elegant, it opens on grapefruit and mango notes. A fresh elegant attack leads into a succulent mid-palate that starts on citrus and goes on to develop notes of tropical fruit, building to a lively and well-balanced finish.

May 2012: Firmly established in our cooler now for the summer. The blend is a stroke of genius: Sauvignon, which is the dominant grape brings so much aroma and freshness which the Chardonnay fruit underscores with depth, substance and weight. The combination scampers around your taste-buds like a puppy dog. All the bases are covered. Aperitif, refreshing quencher, food able and dry & fruity.

1x Bodegas Alina Emblema Cabernet Sauvignon Chile, Central Valley

Having tasted this for the first time in December ’11, it got onto our website without hesitation. It is staggeringly good for very little cost.

Vivid ruby colour. Exquisite aroma of forest berries and spices on a rich background of leather and liquorice. Palate characterised by sweet healthy tannins from the fruit and the vegetal nuances typical of this variety.

It’s even better after being open a while; unusually so, for a wine of such a low price point. My every day red wine of choice at the moment (January 2012).

UPDATE: Our top selling red, we spotted Emblema Cab on a Chinese website (March 2012) for ¥98 a bottle, brilliantly on ‘offer’, down from ¥135, and in a shop for ¥110 (November 2012). Criminal.

1x Suelo Argentino Malbec Argentina

The dark purple colour and attractive blackberry nose are inviting. The taste is rich and fruity with satisfying weight and an appealing finish making this a very moreish wine.

When feeling particularly devilish, blend this malbec with a couple of other wines to play around. Mix it with 50:50 DeBortoli Shiraz or Cotes Du Ventoux.

All 3 blends produce different effects as all 3 other wines are very different, but the overall flexibilty is a massive boon. Purists may make faces, as if this anything resembling putting coca cola into the claret. That misses one point and is silly about another.

Winemakers would kill for the chance to do what we can do, but which some feel we shouldn’t do, in our own glasses. Blending is a skill, learned by trial and improvement. It is a good thing. Anyone can improve their wine experience and knowledge and have fun doing it. and it needn’t cost the earth.

We are not mixing Pauillac and coke.

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