Guest blog: A Taste of Chile, Posted by Colin Smith
I read somewhere recently that sales of Chilean wines above £9 per bottle have gone up over 40% recently. That would appear to be a reflection of the increasing quality and diversity of wines from Chile and it’s not surprising when you taste through the range of wines from Viu Manent all of which retail for just over £10 with Spirited Wines. Not only do these taste good but they have eye catching labels which is an important factor on crowded wine retailer’s shelves these days. They stand out.
Viu Manent is a family owned winery. It’s too much of a generalisation to say that family owned wineries produce better wine than big company owned wineries but it’s not hard to imagine the care that must go into everything that is done in producing the end product when it’s your family’s reputation and livelihood on the line.
I tasted four wines in the Viu Manent lineup.
I really like Viognier and I love introducing it to people who haven’t tried much beyond Pinot Grigio. It’s the peach and apricot with that satisfying medium weight that is so appealing. The Viu Manent 2011 so easily fits into that profile adding a floral touch and a freshness that makes this a wine that could be drunk as an aperitif or with food.
Chile has been known for a long time for its Sauvignon Blancs. It doesn’t quite have the profile of New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignons but it does offer a slightly more restrained style so if you want something just a little less intense than a Kiwi “savvy” then try Viu Manent Sauvignon Blanc 2011 which is refreshingly zingy.
Viu Manent also produce a Carmenere which I tasted alongside a Carmenere from a large online retailer. The Viu Manent one was a much better example of this grape variety. Carmenere has become synonymous with Chile. It has so much fruit and flavour and is a very easy drinking wine.
The final wine in the Viu Manent lineup that I tasted is the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a good example of this style with its black currant, cedar and cassis. It’s a wonderfully smooth and easy drinking Cabernet and has none of that tough “old wood” taste that many Cabernets can have.At £10.48 each these wines represent good value and are very drinkable.