With its many diverse climates and rare geographic protection from pests and blights, Chile has become an ideal home for many amazing wineries. The success of their wines, rich in flavor and nuances, is evident in the many awards and accolades regularly heaped upon them throughout the world.
The latest recognition comes from respected judge and international wine expert, Steve Thurlow. In his recently released his 50 Top Value Wines list, Chilean wines dominate, securing a quarter of the available spots.
“The improvement in quality of wines from Chile, while maintaining value prices over the last ten years has been truly remarkable,” Thurlow says in Canada’s National Post.
Making it onto the value list means these wines excel in both quality as well as affordability.
“To be included in the Top 50 for value a wine must be inexpensive while also having a high score, indicating high quality,” Thurlow explains.
Among the 13 Chilean labels to make the top 50 are a range of reds and whites from the coast, central valley, and even down into the south of the country. Included in the line-up are Santa Rita Reserva Carmenere 2010 from the Rapel Valley south of Santiago, which also received a judges choice award, and the Caliterra Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2012 and the Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier 2012, both from the Colchagua Valley and both recipients of the Top 25 Value award.
Cono Sur Bicicleta — appearing multiple times on the top 50 list — received receiving special praise from Thurlow for its Pinot Noir 2012 .
“The Cono Sur Bicicleta pinot noir is consistently one of the best value in inexpensive pinot each vintage. The 2012 is an excellent straight forward pinot noir that delivers well for such an inexpensive wine,” Thurlow says. “It is ruby red in colour with aromas of red cherry and raspberry fruit with some spice, smoke and herbal notes.”
Chilean wines continue to shine on the world stage, holding their own against major labels from well-known wineries from Bordeaux, to Rioja to Chianti. Eighteen Chilean wines made this year’s Gold List at the 2013 Sommelier Wine Awards in the United Kingdom, and just last month Decanter Magazine named Chile’s Viña Santa Rita’s Casa Real 1989 and official “wine legend.”