Tonight is the Wines of Chile tasting, featuring eight red wines from all over the country. The event was organized by the Wines of Chile organization via The Thomas Collective of New York. You can follow along using the hashtag #ChileReds and the twitter account DrinkChile. A group of wine bloggers was each sent a tasting kit containing the wines and their tech sheets, background information on Chile, and some neat recipes to pair with each wine. The wines included in the tasting kit were:
1. 2009 Valdivieso Reserve Pinot Noir Casablanca Valley
2. 2009 Casablanca Nimbus Estate Pinot Noir Casablanca Valley
3. 2009 Veramonte Ritual Pinot Noir Casablanca Valley
4. 2008 Cono Sur Ocio Pinot Noir Casablanca Valley
5. 2009 Tamaya Reserva Syrah Limari Valley
6. 2006 Loma Larga Syrah Casablanca Valley
7. 2009 Undurraga "Terroir Hunter" Syrah Leyda Valley
8. 2009 Hacienda Araucano Reserva Syrah Lolol Valley
The "leader" of the tasting will be Fred Dexheimer, a Master Sommelier and founder of Juiceman Consulting, also based in New York. His involvement tonight stems from his work as an educator/consultant for the Wines of Chile program. Also joining in will be Matias Rios Langevin from Cono Sur.
Along with the Chilean wines, I've gone ahead and cooked up a few dishes (with the assistance of my Mom, a Cordon Bleu-trained chef) including an Orzo & French Lentil salad with fresh herbs, pork chops with myrtleberry chutney, and my friend Beth is bringing over some mushrooms to sautee in butter and herbs.
While I have no idea how many bloggers are taking part, last time I did a Chilean wine online tasting, a lot of people "showed up" and we had a lively discussion. Tonight will be no different, I suspect. The tasting starts in about an hour and I know that I can't wait to get started. While opening each wine, I may or may not have taken the opportunity to sniff each bottle repeatedly, as a result I'm very excited. The aromas ran the gamut from barnyard, gamey notes in one of the syrahs to fresh crushed summer berries in a pinot noir.
My experience with Chilean wines has been at either the very low end of the price spectrum with wines like Casillero del Diablo or at the top end with amazing wine like the Concha y Toro Don Melchor. Being able to taste through this mid to upper tier group of wines will help me learn a lot more about what Chile is capable of and more so, what Chile is bringing to market right now. All the wines are pretty widely available, evidence of a good job by the Wines of Chile group. After the tasting, I'll be assembling my tasting notes and more pictures to present a comprehensive overview of what I tasted and what I recommend you go out and buy. Stay tuned!!