Some of the best values in wine today come from Chile—and don’t mistake “value” to just mean “good for the price,” no, the wines coming out of Chile today are world-class. Many of these wines, if not most, can be purchased for under $30. Today, we will be focusing on a few wines ranging from $10-$24 in price.
Montes is arguably one of Chile’s finest producers with wines ranging in price from $12 – $100+. Montes has vineyards across Chile’s growing regions, but their finest products come out of their Apalta Vineyard in the Colchagua valley. The grapes are hoisted to the rooftop of the estate, where they are hand picked and sorted, then destemmed and sent to be crushed in one of the most unique methods imaginable—gravity.
All the grapes harvested at the Apalta vineyard are undergo this processing, which the vineyard’s owners claim helps their wines to reach their ultimate natural potential. At the very least, the gravity-fed system that the vineyard strictly adheres to saves a great deal of energy and reduces the vineyard’s carbon footprint. The wines that result are wonderfully defined and speak highly of Chile’s wine producing ability.
Montes Alpha Syrah: $23.99
“Beautiful and delicate ruby red color. Intense and elegant nose with predominance of strawberries and flowery hints that all together makes this Pinot Noir a very lively, harmonious and generous wine. In the palate is clean, well balanced, with soft rounded tannins and a good level of acidity. The wine is lengthy in the mouth showing a well integrated and balanced oak. Due to the very intense microbiologic control this wine is very lightly filtered, what makes the aromas and color very expressive of Pinot Noir.”
Montes Alpha Pinot Noir: $23.99
“In the purest of Rhône styles, Aurelio has added a percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon, also originating from Apalta, and some Viognier to the final mixture. Of intense ruby red color, it has a great aroma with floral, tobacco and leathery notes. Strong and full bodied to the palate, with soft and mature tannins. A very long, elegant and satisfying after taste. A superb Syrah.”
The wines from Cono Sur offer a great opportunity to sample Chile’s potential at a low price point. The Bicycle series wines deliver a great deal of quality, making them a great value for the thrifty consumer.
Cono Sur Sauvignon Blanc: $9.99
Elegant, expressive and dressed in a green-yellow shade of colour, this Sauvignon Blanc impresses with its citrus notes of grapefruit and green apple, which mingle in with herbal hints. In mouth, its freshness and balance specially stand out, along with its citric notes and pleasant mineral ending. It’s a great wine for an aperitif.
Lastly we have Apaltagua, of the Tutunjian family vineyards, which also hails from the Apalta region of the Colchagua valley, one of Chile’s premiere growing regions. Their Reserva Carmenère is an excellent example of a varietal that was all but lost until the 1990′s, as it had been misidentified as Merlot. Now, Carmenère is Chile’s national pride, and the wine features a great deal of the mineral qualities from the soils in which the grapes are grown.
Apaltagua Carmenère Reserva: $9.99
“Apaltagua Reserva Carmenère is an intense wine whit a wild purple in color. From start to finish the touches of tobacco, red and black cherries intermingle producing a great potency in the mouth. It possesses a generous body with smooth and friendly tannins. Juicy and persistent finish.”
We hope you’ll take the time to check out our selection of Chilean wines, and give them the attention they deserve.