Monday, September 26, 2011

Singular Wines from Anakena

Impressive new releases from Chile that I've tasted recently include two wines from the Single Vineyard line from Anakena Winery. Located in the Rapel Valley, the winery has vineyards in several areas of the country, including Cachapoal, Leyda and Colchagua Valleys.

There are several lines of Anakena wines from the basic Varietal wines to the premium Ona wines, small lot bottlings that include Pinot Noir, Syrah and blends including Riesling/Viognier/Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon/Carmenere/Syrah.

Here are notes on two bottlings from the Single Vineyard series- both are suggested retail price of $14 on US retail shelves:

2010 Anakena Sauvignon Blanc Single Vineyard "Yunco Plot" (Casablanca Valley)
Located west of Santiago, Casablanca Valley is a cool climate zone not far from the Pacific Ocean; first planted in the 1980s, it is an ideal spot for varieties such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. Pleasing varietal aromas of spearmint, gooseberry and freshly cut hay. Medium-bodied, this has an elegant entry on the palate along with good acidity and subtle herbal notes in the finish. This is a nicely made cool-climate Sauvignon Blanc. Enjoy over the next year with shellfish or lighter chicken dishes.

2010 Anakena Carmenere Single Vineyard "Malva Plot" (D.O. Peumo)
The Peumo appellation is located in the western reaches of the Cachapoal Valley in western central Chile. Bright purple with inviting aromas of black raspberry, mocha, nutmeg and vanilla. Medium-bodied with very good concentration. Fresh and quite tasty, this is a delicious wine with well-defined varietal character, good acidity, round tannins and a distinct spiciness in the finish with notes of black pepper and cumin. Very appealing now and over the next 1-2 years. Very good value.

A few additional words on this wine. If you like Malbec from Argentina, with its spicy, peppery qualities, you'll love this wine. At $14, this delivers a lot of character and pleasure and is better than most examples of Malbec at this price. If I was purchasing wine for a steak house, I'd buy multiple cases of this wine, pour it by the glass and then watch the patrons enjoy themselves, especially as they order a second glass. It's that good! (This would also make for a wonderful everyday red for many consumers - pair it with barbecued ribs, pork chops, steaks or roasts.)


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