Chile produces a great deal of Cabernet Sauvignon (about 47 percent of the total production) followed by Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Merlot. Small amounts of Riesling, Pinot Noir,
Chenin Blanc, Semillon, and Gewilrtztraminer are also produced. Chardonnay was originally not so widely planted but has seen explosive growth, with a seventeen fold increase between 1985 and 1996.
This classic Bordeaux grape is also known as Fumé Blanc here. Chilean Sauvignon Blanc varies in intensity and quality from area to area and also from maker to maker. The colour of ordinary Sauvignon Blanc is mainly pale yellow tinged with green. The bouquet is very seductive with fresh aromas of tropical fruit and freshly mowed grass. Some wines have a hint of citrus fruits, gooseberry (Santa Carolina), or flowers (Santa Digna, Torres). The taste is always fresh without being firm as can be the case in Bordeaux. Drinking temperature is 46.4-50°F (8- 10°C).
SAUVIGNON BLANC RESERVA ESPECIAL
This wine is cask aged in wood and possesses a characteristic bouquet of wood and vanilla without losing its fruitiness. Drinking temperature is 50°F (10°C).
SAUVIGNON BLANC LATE HARVEST
This is a rare wine from Concha y Toro that has heady aromas of white fruits (such as peach and apricot), melon and honey. It is a luxuriant and sweet yet fresh white wine with a broad taste and long aftertaste. Drinking temperature is 46.4-50°F (8- 10°C).
The taste of Chilean Chardonnay is largely a matter of the wood in which it has been stored and the duration of its storage. The humidity of its place of origin also plays a role. Chardonnay here is generally pale straw yellow with a green tinge. Most wines have a fresh and fruity bouquet with aromas of apple, citrus fruits such as grapefruit, and pineapple and passion fruit. Those Chardonnays made from riper grapes exude heady aromas more distinctly of honey, butter, mango, cinnamon, apricot, peach, and occasional note of tropical flowers. Those cask aged in good quality wood also acquire a fresh bouquet of oak, hazelnut, toast, and vanilla. These wines are distinguished as in Spain by the additions of the names Reserva and Gran Reserva.
|All Chardonnays are fresh and mild, creamy, dry but not harsh, rounded, and full in taste. The taste (and price) varies from simplicity to good, broad, complex, and superb. Drinking temperature is 50-53.6°F (10- 12°C) for young wines and 53.6-57.2°F (12- 14°C) for Reserva and Gran Reserva.|