All under one roof

28 August, 2008

Peter Richards rounds up the wines to look out for at this year's Wines of Chile tasting, taking place at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London

A new date and a new venue this year for the annual Chilean wine road show, but otherwise few changes are expected from the usual buzzy atmosphere and huge variety on show.

Over 90 producers are already confirmed along with 1,000 wines, while special features this year include a focus on both Sauvignon Blanc and Carmenère. On show are also the trophy and gold medal winners from various high-profile competitions in 2008, including the Annual Wines of Chile Awards

and the International Wine Challenge . To add to the festivities, government promotion body ProChile is laying on some examples of Chilean food and culture.

See winesofchile.org for more details.

Blueberry sparkling wine, solar energy,

organic wines, new winemakers,

Porta and Gracia packaging, a project with the University of Davis and a vision for a French-style appellation system in the Bío Bío region are

some of the hot topics on the Córpora (VCF) stand this year.

It's a debut showing for O'Fournier's new Chilean operation, with ever-enthusiastic José Manuel Ortega on hand. Both Urban and Centauri brands are on show: the reds are sourced from Maule and the whites from Leyda.

Will Chile's hardest -working winemaker, Adolfo Hurtado, ever slow down? He'll be on hand to present Cono Sur wines including several new additions to the portfolio. The 2008 aromatic whites will be given their first UK airing and there's a new Malbec for the Visión range. There'll also be samples of the Sauvignon Blanc from the new Campo Lindo estate in San Antonio, a wine in transition to organic status. To top it off,

Hurtardo will be uncorking the winery's brand new tank-method fizz, made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Riesling, sourced from the southerly Bío Bío region.

Hatch Mansfield has a repackaged Caliterra to show off, along with an exciting Sauvignon Blanc debut from Errázuriz's new coastal property, Manzanar Vineyard, planted in 2005 just 15km from the coast.

Estampa expects plenty of attention at its stand.

Attractions include the "Provence-style" Cabernet/Syrah rosé as well as award-winning Reserva Syrah 2005 and Gold Assemblage Carmenère 2004.

Great Western Wine has celebrated stable mates Falernia and Viña Leyda on show, with the latter showing two brand new releases for the UK market: a Riesling and Sauvignon Gris,

from the 2007 vintage.

Geo Wines has the first Pinot Noir from boutique Casablanca producer Quintay, as well as new releases Chono Carmenère Syrah 2007 and the Palin organic Syrah 2006 from the Limarí region.

Plenty of novelty from Concha y Toro. There's a new sparkling addition to the Casillero range, the launch of a Sauvignon Blanc under the Casillero del Diablo Reserva Privada banner and a new Shiraz rosé for the Palo Alto brand. Finally, two exciting new additions to the Maycas line - both premium Chardonnays, one made with no oak but extensive lees contact for a more Chablis-esque style.

It's a first outing for Los Maquis, the Colchagua red wine specialist which currently only makes two blends: Maquis Lien and Calcu, though extensive new projects are underway in Marchihue and Valparaíso.

Another debutant at this year's tasting is Rapel-based La Ronci ere, with the appointment of Crush Wines as its UK agent. The winery is rolling out a new look with revamped labels and wines, which are being shown to the UK trade for the first time.

The Elqui-based Mayu brand,

a sister project to Falernia, has

secured several key listings and considerable critical acclaim. Wines

on taste include the Syrah Reserva 2006 and 2007, as well as the Pedro Ximénez and Carmenère/Syrah blend.

Under the Paragon banner will be both Amayna and De Martino. The latter will be launching its new 347 Vineyards range

- wines selected from the best parcels across different valleys, and named after the number of sites that the winery has vinified from over the last decade.

Winemaker Claudia Gómez will be

presenting

Amayna's

new Syrah

and the Pinot Noir 2005 that won gold at the Annual Wines of Chile Awards 2008.

H wC g stable mates Montes and La Rosa both have new things to show off. The full range of Montes' Alpha will be available for tasting, including the latest addition, a Pinot Noir, while other highlights include the Cherub Rosé 2008 and the 2006 vintages of the icons Folly and Purple. La Rosa will

present its newly-

packaged sparkling wine as well as the trophy-winning Ossa

6th Generation red blend.

Top of the bill at San Pedro's stand are its trophy-winning Castillo de Molina Sauvignon Blanc from Elqui, the new 2005 vintage of its icon Cabo de Hornos Cabernet and the launch of the new 1865 Sauvignon from Leyda. That's not forgetting the new Organic Wild Ferment range from their 35°S range.

Canepa will be at the fair under a different guise from normal, having signed a strategic alliance with Concha y Toro. New head winemaker Max Weinlaub will be on hand to show novelties including a late-harvest Limarí Muscat and a Pinot Grigio Reserva.

Not only will Vistamar be parading its new 18.75cl format for the on-trade and the debut Gran Reserva Cabernet Syrah 2005, it also has new winemaker Irene Paiva to shout about.

Both Casa Lapostolle and Haras de Pirque have recently joined the Berkmann portfolio. Highlights from the Marnier-

Lapostolle winery include an old-vine Semillon, the latest additions to the Cuvée Alexandre range and icons Clos Apalta and Borobo (both 2004). Haras de Pirque will have its Equus, Elegance and Albis (the joint venture with Tuscany's Marchesi Antinori) available for tasting.

South African-owned Fairtrade brand Fairhills will be launching its new Chilean range at the tasting, sourced from the Santa Irene winery in Curicó.

A new project researching Carmenère clones is likely to be a hot topic chez Casa Silva, which also has a separate table for its Doña Dominga brand. German-Chilean joint venture Espiritu de Chile, also imported by Thierry's, will have its Classic and Gran Reserva lines on show.

Pop along to TerraMater's table, where oddities on offer include the Vineyard Reserve Zinfandel Shiraz and a Limited Reserve Sangiovese.

Santa Helena

is launching a new image under the

Helena banner, while new winemaker Matías Rivera, formerly of Cousiño Macul, will be presenting the new vintages of its premium ranges.

Lauca was the brand born of the collaboration between HBJ and the Chilean Wine Company; now there is

new addition to the joint venture, Inú.

Casablanca specialist William Cole

will be displaying many of th is year's award winn ing wines

on

its stand.

PLB will be unveiling the new-look, new-name Chilano and relaunching Yali to reflect its e co-friendly policies.

This year the Claro Group Wineries - Santa Rita, Terra Andina, Carmen - are exhibiting

under their new

off-trade distribution agreement with Codorníu UK.

Château Los Boldos is appearing

under new ownership (Sogrape) and is showing two new ranges exclusive to the off-trade: Momentos and Sensaciones.

Cachapoal-based Anakena is anything but parochial: it

will be showing off wines from Leyda, Bío Bío, Curicó, Rapel and Casablanca, among others.

Toknar is the name of the new premium launch from Von Siebenthal, made purely from organically grown Petit Verdot.

Wines of Chile annual trade tasting

When: Tuesday Sep t 9, 10am-6pm

Where: Royal Horticultural Halls, Lawrence Hall, Greycoat Street, London SW1

Contact: info@winesofchile.org.uk




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