Of the 15 whites and reds I tasted from this VINTAGES amassed Chilean lot, six stood out above the pack. Look for Syrah and Cabernet Franc grown at high altitudes on the slopes and valleys of Chile’s mountainous North to be future stars.
Emiliana Signos De Origen La Vinilla Chardonnay/Viognier/Marsanne/Roussane 2010 (0063909, $19.95) exhibits its organic status in millón vanillin yellow crystal scents. Add to that an orange tang and the Vinilla works the Rhône room both North and South, finishing Viognier with an “ice, ice, baby” refrain. Bring on the suckling porcine cena. 88
Maycas Del Limarí Reserva Especial Chardonnay 2010 (0162040, $19.95) offers up sweet, saponaceous fumes from high octane green mountain orchards. Descends momentarily but ascends again for the peak where fried melon rind dips into red pepper piri-piri sauce. Unusual yet striking. 87
Altaïr Sideral 2007 (0660837, $26.95) waxes Italian through gamey notes, despite its varietal French pedigree. Reticent Cabernet whiffs subtle poached pear in fermented grape juice. Builds mineral pistol momentum then turns vicious on the animale note. The Sideral is always entertaining and can claim “I did it my way.” The great Chilean Bordeaux blend swindle. 88
Concha Y Toro Terrunyo Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (0562918, $29.95) may be full in body and bleeding heart extraction yet acts backwardly mobile. It’s terraced Cabernet continence shakes contrary to its bodacious and bootyliscious appearance. Stand five years then pour it with a charred bovine’s blue, beating heart. 89
Maycas Del Limarí Reserva Especial Syrah 2008 (0269423, $19.95) clicks on all cylinders. High altitude vineyards with cool, Andes breezes produce high octane, voluminous Syrah. Bacon fat and smoked meat lead to shrewd tannins possessive of a sudden glare, like its attention has filed down to a single, sharp point. 88
Potro De Piedra Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc 2008 (0273995, $24.95) the beguiler intrigues as a stone cold groove with wild herbs, flowers and underbrush that perfume the glass. A residual piedra sagrada hard edge mars the finish but this is otherwise a stroke of brilliance. Wait three years and call it a day. 89
Good to go!