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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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