We've recently discovered some really special wines from South America, which we are so excited to share with you. This week we're starting with two from Chile: a fun and refreshing 'orange wine' that's just so easy to sip, and a serious Cabernet Sauvignon that we can't believe is under $25.
Chile is an exciting wine region that really has it all -- diverse terroir from the Pacific coast to the Andes mountains, a movement of progressive terroir-driven winemakers, some of the oldest vines in the world, and value that just can't be beat. Chilean wine has gone through ups and downs, with periods of cheap mass production hurting it's global appeal. However, that is really changing. A new generation of winemakers are starting to farm on a smaller scale with more focus on terroir and sustainable methods. It just so happens that our Chilean friend Pedro Perra -- one of the leading terroir experts in the world who is involved in our Rose and Arrow project up in Oregon -- is helping lead this movement in Chile and other parts of South America.
Both of today's wines are made in small amounts-- quantities are limited so do yourself a favor and try these! We really think you're going to fall in love with this region like we have.
This fun orange wine is made from the Moscatel grape, and grown in the southern Chilean region of Itata Valley. This high elevation, coastal region of Chile was for a long time associated with bulk wine production, but as winemakers focus on terroir and quality, the region is gaining in popularity. To make this wine, the white grapes are fermented on the skins for six months, which gives it that golden color, and adds more texture and unique flavors. Longavi is a project started by two winemaking friends, one from Chile and one from South Africa. They use native yeasts, minimal intervention and farm using sustainable methods. This wine is just so inviting with notes of melon, pink grapefruit, blood orange, and white flowers -- the name says it all: "Glup!" (translates to Gulp - which is exactly what you'll want to do :).
This is a family run operation in the Maipo Valley, one of Chiles most famous wine regions, not far from Santiago. The Lafken estate is heavily influenced by the higher elevation of the Andes mountains, which creates optimal freshness to go along with the long, dry, hot summers helping grapes ripen fully. Miguel Besoain spent years learning winemaking in France and Germany before returning home to Chile to realize his dreams of making wine in his homeland. Miguel believes in the preservation of the environment, and every decision he makes in the vineyard and cellar puts sustainability front and center.
This is simply an outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon. Powerful, while at the same time boasting wonderful freshness and elegant character. The wine is full of delectably ripe fruit notes, perfect balance and a depth that is hard to describe. Complex, elegant, powerful and showing a finish that keeps on going. We sipped this wine over four days and it kept getting better and better. We still can't get over the price tag, which just shows what incredible value there is to be had in Chile. For $23 you simply can't miss this (and if you don't order soon, you may as quantities are small!)