10 Chilean Wines On Our Radar

Drink

September 4, 2017 | BY James Suckling

Looking to expand your collection with prized pours from across the Pacific? Here are some Chilean beauties you shouldn’t miss

In April, James Suckling and his team took their fifth trip to Chile in three years to score nearly 800 wines. They found hundreds of outstanding vintages along with three perfect 100-pointers.

From pinot noir and chardonnay, to syrah and carignan, Chile has exceptional diversity that stretches well beyond the widely grown cabernet sauvignon and its world class sauvignon blanc.

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 Clos Apalta Valle de Colchagua 2014

An extremely aromatic Clos Apalta with blackberry, blueberry, floral and hot-stone characters. Full-bodied and very linear with ultra-fine tannins, it is focused and tight, precise and long. This is the most polished and beautiful definition of this wine ever. You want to drink it now but better in 2020. A blend of carmenere, cabernet sauvignon and merlot. 100 points

Almaviva Puente Alto 2015

A glorious and complex nose of tobacco and blackberry with hints of stone, flowers and bitter chocolate. Full-bodied, very tight and compact. Its linear backbone lends it form and tension. It has the same character on the palate, as well as cayenne and other spices. Loved the 2014 but this shows more fine-grained tannins. So balanced and harmonious. A blend of 69 per cent cabernet sauvignon, 24 per cent carmenere, 5 per cent cabernet franc and 2 per cent petit verdot. Needs four or five years in the bottle but a joy to taste now. 100 points

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Seña Valle de Aconcagua 2015

Stunning aromas of blackcurrant, stone, blueberry and liquorice. Also iodine. Floral. Perfumed. Full-bodied with fantastic density of fruit and ripe tannins. It goes on for minutes on the palate with such energy and focus. Touch of chewiness on the finish. A generouos, complex and complete wine that delivers with firmness. Drink in 2021 but already a classic. 100 points

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Errázuriz Pinot Noir Aconcagua Costa Las Pizarras 2016

Superb mineral, stone, slate and violet aromas. Full-bodied and dense with a silky texture. So much beautiful fruit yet so reserved and refined. Layered and complete. Fantastic acidity at the finish. Iron, iodine and oyster. Long finish. Superb follow-up to the 2015. Drink or hold. 99 points

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Viñedo Chadwick Cabernet Sauvignon Valle de Maipo 2015

Very deep and primary fruit character gives this wine amazing length and focus. It seems to go on forever. Full-bodied yet vivid and energetic. Tannic and muscular yet so polished and refined. Drink now. But one for the cellar as well. 99 points

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Concha y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon Puente Alto Don Melchor 2014

Wonderful aromas of stone, mint and blackcurrant. Sweet tobacco. Tile and rust. So aromatic. This is the best Don Melchor I have ever tasted. Full-bodied, very soft yet firm and silky. It has tension, intensity and balance. Drink or hold. 98 points

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Montes Valle de Colchagua Alpha M 2014

The greatest M ever made. It continues the legend of the great 2014 vintage. Full-bodied, compacted and powerful. Tight and chewy. It starts slowly and builds. Superb. Drink in 2022 but already a joy to taste. 98 points

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Ritual Chardonnay Valle de Casablanca Supertuga Block 2016

This is a phenomenal chardonnay with light bread dough, cooked apple and pear aromas. Full-bodied, seamless white with earth and subtle ripe apple and pineapple. Fantastic length and beauty. 500 cases made. Screw cap. 97 points

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Hacienda Araucano Carménère Valle de Colchagua Alka 2015

Blackberry and dark chocolate with hints of spice. Dried meat. Full-bodied, juicy and layered. A wild wine. So much going on here. From biodynamically grown grapes. Drink now or hold. 96 points

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Garcia + Schwaderer Grenache Valle de Itata Piedra Lisa Vineyard 2015

A linear and fine red with lovely fruit that has cherry, raspberry and floral character. Chewy tannins and a wild finish. Builds on the palate. Love this always. From grafted, 120-year-old vines. 96 points

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To see the full list of Chilean wines, visit jamessuckling.com