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Sunday, 12 September 2021

The CWB Co-op South American Red-Off

Two South American reds from The Co-op

Either side of the Andes, Chile and Argentina and synonymous with South American wine and are its two biggest producers.

For reds, Chile's signature grape is Carménère (historically confused with Merlot, which it somewhat resembles); whereas, for Argentina it is the heat-loving Malbec.

These two South American wines from the Co-op represent an exploration of what these countries can do beyond their most well-known varieties.

Syrah is a warm-climate grape originally from the Rhône, whereas Cabernet Franc tolerates a wider range of climates from the somewhat chilly Loire (where it produces fresh, vibrant wines) to warm-climate Languedoc where it is bigger and fuller.

Leyda Valley Syrah, Chile (£10)

A fresh and juicy cool-climate Syrah grown just 4km away from the Pacific Ocean and produced by multi-award winning winemaker Viviana Navarrete.

floral, bubblegum nose with baked dark fruits, cocoa and spice; juicy, slightly stewed blackcurrant, blackberry and black cherry fruits, minty eucalyptus and generous extraction with ripe, rounded tannins; fresh and savoury.

Improves with aeration.


Match with char-grilled red meats or charcuterie. 

Brazos Cabernet Franc, Argentina (£9.50)

Made by Familia Zuccardi, a family-run winery in Mendoza region of Argentina, dating back to 1968.

red and black fruits, eucalyptus, clove and peppery spice; red and black plum, black olives, grilled notes and lifted cool mint with spicy oakiness: generously extracted and slightly port; firm, slightly drying tannins

Thoroughly enjoyable in a rough-and-tumble sort of way

Match with hearty foods such as rustic pâté or crostini with tapenade.

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