Tag Archives: Chile

Weekly Wine – Chilean Chardonnay

8 Feb

sc_charSanta Carolina Chardonnay
13% ABV
$9.45 (LCBO)
This wine disturbed me a bit.
It is dry yet it does not seem so when taking the first sips.
It is quite light in colour but the body does match that visual stimuli.
There is acidity here that is not too pronounced but it is tempered with other flavours that I can’t quite make out.
It is a fair wine. It is a chardonnay, and it is a rather typical one at that. When drinking this wine there is no mistaking it for something that is low on the totem pole of price.
It is rather high on the totem pole of value.
If you like chardonnay and are on a budget – you won’t go wrong with this one.

Weekly Wine – Santa Shiraz

9 Nov

1109scshSanta Carolina Shiraz
13% ABV
$8.55 (LCBO)

Santa Carolina is a well-known and established wine company that makes economical wines. They tend to be good.
This one is no exception.
It is nicely bodied. It is well flavoured and rather sharp and tangy.
I like it – you will probably like it too.
The only issue I could possibly have with this wine is that it doesn’t have a very well refined sensation when drinking it. It does not have the complexities of more expensive shirazes. It is rather flat in ins flavour.
It is an inexpensive wine so that should be expected.
And treasured.

This wine is a winner.

Weekly Wine – Shiraz bicycle

12 Oct

1012conoshCono Sur Bicicleta Shiraz
14% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

This is a very standard shiraz.
It is not one of the great tasting, exquisite shirazes that will charm the palate and warm the body.
No… This is just a good straight, simple shiraz.
It won’t set your world on fire.
It won’t make your heart go fluttering.
Unless you have been spoiled by drinking just extravagant wines for the past few years you will like this wine – for it is OK.
It is a working wine. Swilling wine. Table wine. Wedding wine.
It is wine when you want wine.
There is a melange of flavours, mostly berries, that are nicely accented with some spice. A little sharp tang that isn’t too acidic. The wine has a full body that is not too heavy making it quite enjoyable. There is a bit of flatness and sourness in the aftertaste that denotes that this is a common wine.
May it live long under the ten dollar price barrier.

Weekly Wine – Santa Blanc

28 Sep

0928scsbSanta Carolina Sauvignon Blanc
12% ABV
$8.95 (LCBO)

This pale wine packs a bit of a bite.
You with think that because of the colour this will be some lame mild wine that has subtle flavours. It is quite a lively but soft wine.
There is a bite – and it comes from the dryness, from the crisp acidic flavouring (which is not overdone.) There are no off flavours. It works well chilled and room temperature. It is nice with some nibbles or just on its own.
Does it work with a meal?
I don’t know. I’m not hungry right now. But I suspect it will be a nice addition to whatever is on the plate.
The other bit of bite comes from the alcohol. At 12.5 per cent alcohol by volume this wine is no slouch. It’s pleasant yet intriguing demeanour does not offer any hintsto the alcohol content – so this wine, when consumed with aplomb, might lead you to where you want to be post haste.

Weekly Wine – Caliterra

11 May


Caliterra Reserva
13.5% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

I’m sipping this wine late at night and I’m trying to decide if I like it or not.
So much of whether a person likes a wine or not at a given time is based on one’s mood.
I’m distracted and am not giving the wine my full attention. This is not out o the ordinary actually. In this case the wine is asking me for my attention. It is not whispering, Judge me, judge me!” More likely it is saying, “don’t ignore me.”
I switch gears, put on some good music and focus on the wine.
This sip is different than the first ones. The wine has breathed. It has changed. The fist sips were sharp and poignant. These ones have mellowed although a sharp aftertaste remains. The wine is not heavy and has a nice delicate flavour. I’m actually quite surprised that the flavour changed after it was left to aerate for a few minutes. Wines at this price point tend not to be so delicate.
I like this wine – now that I’ve paid it some well-deserved attention.


Weekly Wine – Cono Sur Pinot Grigio

10 Jun


Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Grigio
14% ABV
$9.90 (LCBO)

This is an example of why under ten dollar wines rule.
For the life of me I thought I had reviewed this wine before. There is a whole series of these wines from Chile called Cono Sur.
Get it. Cono Sur. Southern cone. Look at a map…
These wines are all good. They are ubiquitous at any reception. I seem to recall Konrad Ejbich recommending this series of wine on a CBC radio show. I have drank this wine but never reviewed it.
I usually drink the Cono Sur red wines but this white Pinot Grigio is a very nice fruity example of this wine. There is a bit more flavour in this one than in similarly priced Italian Pinot Grigios and it finishes well with no after taste.
This is a great wine – but if you plan to impress a host with your largess by bringing it, beware – they know this wine well.

Weekly Wine – Kawin

2 Apr

SONY DSCKawin Cabernet Sauvignon
13% ABV
$9.90 (LCBO)

The picture of the bottle shows an empty bottle.
It was consumed before the necessary photography could be completed. There is a story about this.
Several bottles were bought. Several friends were invited. Several bottles were opened.
Comments were made about my reviews of sub ten dollar wines – as we were drinking wines of much greater monetary value.
I opened this one at random.
My point was, and is, to really get an amazing, HOLY COW, wine, you have to get pretty close to three digits and more often than not, go over that sum.
All the guests like the wine. They commented that it was just as fine as the ones we were consuming that were nearly twice the monetary value.
I don’t really remember anything specific about this wine, as more wine flowed after this bottle served its purpose.
It is a good wine that was enjoyed by many.

Weekly Wine – 120

21 Mar

SONY DSCSanta Rita 120 Cabernet Sauvignon
13.5% ABV
$9.60 (LCBO)

I’m drinking this wine and thinking about people who are struggling for freedom.
The 120 in the name of this wine is there because, as it says on the label, “Honoring 120 patriots who helped lead Chile to independence.” I look to engage the Internet to find out who these 120 people are and I get distracted by the events in Ukraine – where people are struggling for their independence and self-determinations right now.
What would any freedom fighter think of this wine?
They would probably like it – they would probably appreciate any wine.
This wine has a distinct Chilean characteristic that I have picked up on. The initial taste is fine, quite pleasant with a smattering of flavours and a hint of complexity. The after-taste comes in and it is a bit dry and harsh. It is the sulphites that are added, as they are to most wines in the sub 10-buck category, that are quite pronounced.
This wine needs to be enjoyed with food because of this after-taste. A hearty meal – not just finger snacks. With food you will not get the harshness and the wine will be a winner at most any occasion.

Weekly Wine – Frontera

26 Feb

SONY DSCConcha Y Toro Frontera Cabernet Sauvignon
12.5% ABV
$7.95 (LCBO)

I would like to make grand sweeping statements about how good or bad this wine is.
I would like to make specific arguments to support the above conclusions.
I would like to make brilliant observations about this wine.
I can’t.
I took this wine to a backgammon tournament I was playing and I downed it while playing the round robin portion of the tournament.
I made a few notes about the wine. It is light and easy to drink. I was drinking it out of one of those mason jar mug/glasses. It did not spoil the enjoyment of the wine. Perhaps it even enhanced it. I was concentrating on the game and the wine.
Backgammon is a great game. It is an ancient game. It is a pure mix of skill and luck. It is very Machiavellian in a sense where one has to have luck and skill balanced to be successful.
This wine suited the game. It was light and easy to drink. There were no heavy flavours that spoiled my concentration. It was entirely pleasant.
My round robin results were 2 wins one loss… and then the strength of the wines presence in my body lead me to victory.

Weekly Wine – Santa Carolina

18 Dec

 SONY DSCSanta Carolina Merlot
$8.95 (LCBO)

A few weeks ago I wrote about a friend who swears by Chilean wine. I’m sure he means this one. This is a good one. Not excellent… but for the price it is very good.
There is a harshness in the initial sip that slightly bothers me. The harshness lingers a bit. It then turns into this dryness which is not unpleasant but is noticeable. This is a very minor observation but it does ring a bell in the consciousness. The strange thing is is that it does not bother me too much. I have just noticed it tonight. Waiting a couple of minutes after having a sip, the time it takes to think up and type two sentences, the dryness dissipates and a nice flavour is left.
This is a good average wine. Slightly above the average in this price range but it doesn’t have a stand-out character to really lift it above the fray.