Hail the interesting

21 September, 2007

A round-up of some of the new and unusual exhibits on taste at the annual generic event

Around 100 exhibitors from the length and breadth of Chile will be showing some 1,000 wines at the annual trade tasting in London next month. Smaller tastings are taking place across the UK in the run-up to the event - there has already been one in Belfast - and some are giving consumers the chance to try out the wines after the trade and press have sampled them.

There will be focus tastings of rosé and Sauvignon Blanc priced £5.99-£10 in an effort to highlight the country's output beyond red wines. And there will be an exhibition by Matt Wilson, a UK-born photographer who lives in Chile with his wife, Andrea Leon, a winemaker at Casa Lapostolle. Wilson specialises in images of vineyards and the character of wines.

HBJ is launching a sister label to on-trade brand Lauca, designed for off-trade multiples. Altu Ego has three tiers priced £4.99, £5.99 and £6.99, and its label features an alpaca.

Free Run Wines has teamed up with Viña Casas Patronales to launch Casas Patronales, a varietal range from San Clemente in the Maule Valley (£4.99-£6.99).

Falernia, from the northern Elqui Valley, has joined forces with Guy Anderson Wines to launch the off-trade-targeted Mayu. Alongside expected Chilean grapes such as Sauvignon Blanc and Carmenère, Mayu includes a dry Pedro Ximénez. The range has two tiers - Elqui Valley at £5.99 and Reserva at £6.99.

Luis Felipe Edwards is unveiling a new look for its single varietal range (£3.99) and adding its first organic wine - Rosa Blanca Organic Cabernet Sauvignon - and a Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz blend Reserva Rosé (both £5.99) to its range.

PKNT producer Terraustral is releasing a £5.99 range of varietal wines named Stonehead, after the famous statues on Easter Island. Also on Bottle Green's stand, organic winery Viña La Fortuna and Casablanca's Viña Morandé will be showing off their ranges. Morandé's premium Vistamar range, distributed by Discovery Wines exclusively for independents and the on-trade, is showcasing a limited edition gift box version of its Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah (£14.99). Newly released Sauvignon Blanc 2007 (£4.99) and Sepia Pinot Noir 2006 (£5.99) will also be on taste.

Select Vineyards is unveiling new packaging for Eduardo Chadwick's Arboleda, and launching the 2004 vintage of his icon wine Seña.

Viña Ventisquero is launching the off-trade-targeted Yali Winemaker Selection, which includes a Cabernet/Carmenère 2006 from Colchagua and Sauvignon Blanc 2007 from the Rapel Valley. Ventisquero's icon wine Pangea 2004, created with Grange winemaker John Duval, and new stepping stone wine Vértice 2005 (£19), a Carmenère/Syrah blend, will be on taste - as will PLB's Chileno and Chileno Gold Reserve ranges. Chileno is showing a new Merlot rosé (£4.99), which has been capped at 12 per cent abv to suit trends towards lower alcohol wines.

Emiliana, the biodynamic producer of Andes Peaks, is launching an eponymous £4.99-£6.49 varietal and reserve range. Distributor Boutinot is also showing highlights from newly-signed Altair, San Antonio's Casa Marín and Tabalí in the Limarí Valley.

Undurraga's new winemaker Rafael Urrejola will be at the tasting to launch TH Sauvignon Blanc 2007 from the Leyda Valley. The winery will also be showing new packaging for Aliwen - some of the profits from sales of this trio of red blends go towards a project to support and educate Chile's indigenous Mapuche people.

The Claro Group has become the off-trade distributor for Carmen, Santa Rita and Sur Andino. Carmen is launching an organic range, Nativa Terra 2005 (£6.99); Sur Andino is unveiling new labels and showing its Altos blends; and Santa Rita will show its Reserva Pinot Noir 2006 for the first time.

Hallgarten Wines is showing new packaging for the Limarí Valley's Tamaya Vineyards, which is also exhibiting its Sweet Goat Late Harvest Muscat of Alexandria for the first time. Wines from Agustinos in southern Bío Bío and Echeverria will also be on taste.

De Martino is launching two parcel wines - Single Vineyard Carignan 2006 from Maipo and Single Vineyard Bush Vines 2006 from Maulé, a Syrah/Malbec/Cabernet Sauvignon blend (both £11).

Errázuriz is showing its first icon-level wine, Kai Carmenère (£24.99), which is targeted at independent fine wine retailers and specialists. Caliterra has added a Sauvignon Blanc 2007 to its Tribute range, which is designed to go with food. On the eve of the London tasting, head winemaker Francisco Baettig will lead the 13th Errázuriz seminar, on oak.

Where & when

Bristol: Sept 26, 12-6pm

The Passenger Shed, The British Empire & Commonwealth Museum, Temple Meads

London: Oct 16, 10am-6pm

Business Design Centre, Islington N1

Manchester: Oct 18, 11.30am-6pm

Stretford & Trafford Suites, Manchester United Football Club, M16

Tickets: winesofchile.org/register or call 01344 872229

Catalogue: tastingbuddy.co.uk from early October

What else is new?

Antares has added a Central Valley Shiraz to its range and is moving the whole portfolio into screwcap.

Viña Valdivieso winemaker Brett Jackson will be at the London tasting with Bibendum. Visitors to the stand can also taste wines from Via, which recently appointed Rafael Tirado its new winemaker.

Brand Phoenix's Gracia winery is pioneering renewable energy by using a solar energy plant to heat its water for sterilizing and the fermentation process, cutting its gas use by 80 per cent.

MontGras is showing wines from its new Amaral vineyard in San Antonio, among its MontGras off-trade range and its organic offering, Soleus.

Justerini & Brooks is launching Quinteto 2006, a Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah/Cabernet Franc/Malbec blend from Casablanca's Loma Larga, which says it is the only producer of cool-climate Malbec and Cabernet Franc in Chile.

Casa Lapostolle has added a Semillon made from 80-year-old vines to its range, and is converting to organic and biodynamic methods.

Cachapoal's Anakena is launching a new 2007 Ona Sauvignon Blanc from Casablanca, 2007 Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc from Leyda, 2005 Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon and 2005 Single Vineyard Malbec, at Stratford's Wine Agencies' stand.

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