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Monday 17 January 2011

The Naked Angels' Favourite: Kimbao Pinot Noir 2010, Rapel, Chile

If Burgundy is Pinot's spiritual home and New Zealand makes the best New World Pinot, Chile is perhaps the best source of affordable, reliable Pinot - and that's no mean feat.

Thin-skinned, low-yielding and prone to both disease and mutation, it's not exactly the easiest grape to grow and vinify. And yet, when done successfully, it produces a wine with all sorts of intoxicating and hedonistic aromas and a soft-yet-mouthfilling texture.

You won't necessarily find all that in a young Pinot and you'll rarely get much change out of a tenner even for an entry-level example.

Chilean Pinot is typically very different in style from a red Burgundy, and should offer perfume, texture and drinkability. This Rapel Valley Pinot Noir is from Constanza Schwaderer and Felipe Garcia at Bravado Wines which is funded directly by Naked Wines Angels scheme.

Perhaps it's no co-incidence that the two New World countries that are most known for their Pinots are also the two with most sense of terroir - in Chile's case, it is not the the usual north-south measures that apply but east-west which gives in indication of elevation and therefore climate.

So, it is good to see this wine comes with quite a specific demarcation - the Rapel valley, which Oz Clarke calls one of Chile's most exciting red wine regions.

Overall, it's a light and fruity but well-made wine that can be drunk without food; on opening, it quickly develops a typical Pinot nose of red berries and mushroomy woodsiness, with cherries, truffles and spice on the palate.

With some more air, the nose becomes more restrained, but the palate, and especially the texture, develop with soft mouthfilling tannins, more cherry fruit and a funk of perfumed savouriness.

It's not a full-on food wine and there is not a huge amount on the finish, making this suitable for quaffing; that said, it is improved with some food and we enjoyed this toad-in-the-hole using butcher's sausages with onion gravy; the cherry sourness cuts through the dish whilst the perfume was enhanced by the herbs in the sausages.

Constanza is no stranger to awards and she and Felipe were voted Winemakers of the year 2010 by Naked's customers.

£10.99 from Naked Wines - with discounts for Angels. Provided for review.


Naked Wines - http://www.nakedwines.com/

Bravado Wines - http://www.bravadowines.com/


  1. Felipe - glad you like it and congratulations on the WotY award from Naked.

    All the best, Tom