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Thursday, 9 October 2014

Errazuriz Estate Series

A tasting of Four Estate Series wines from Chilean producer Errazuriz with colleagues

Chile is an oenological big blowsy tart-with-a-heart; with complex geology, no Phylloxera and a combination of altitude and cooling sea breezes, it should make great wines.
 
Yet if in practice all too often the results are unsophisticated attention-seekers, at least some producers, including Errazuriz, are starting to make more interestingly nuanced wines.
 
These four are somewhere between those two extremes - fault-free and expressive with occasional complexity, they are crowd-pleasers with some ambition.
 
Estate Series Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Aconcagua Valley, RRP £9.99, Waitrose, Majestic, Budgens, Morrisons, NISA; various independents.

Textbook generic New World SB, aromatic gooseberries, nettles and cut grass. Tropical fruits and fresh acidity. Light, uncomplicated, expressive.

Estate Series Unoaked Chardonnay 2012, Casablanca Valley RRP £9.99, Tesco, Bargain Booza, Fresh & Wild

Ripe tropical fruits, clean acidity and some textural complexity from wild yeast fermentation and lees aging. Granitic soils add a hint of minerality.
 
Estate Series Merlot 2013, Curico Valley RRP £9.99, Tesco, Majestic, Budgens, NISA, Booths, various independents

Expressive varietal nose of red fruits, coffee and spice with some toasty oak. Juicy and refreshing, uncomplicated.
 
Estate Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Maipo Valley RRP £9.99, Waitrose, Morrisons, Booths, various independents

Complex nose of cassis, oak and spice; supple palate with ripe bramble fruit, a touch of cool mint and vanilla. Good concentration and balanced freshness.
 
Long, ripe and plump - slightly drying tannins on the finish, but some food might fix this.

***
 
Sealed under screwcap, all these wines benefitted from some aeration. For me the most assured overall was the leesy, textured Chardonnay; the group's favourite was the Cab.
 
Provided for review.
 
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