La Playa is Spanish for “the beach,” and anything with the word “beach” in it immediately gets my attention.

Yes, I’m affected by product visuals, names, and of course whatever the product is inside the package. All of these components are what drives a marketing department and impacts consumers.

I also have the Spanish surname “Diaz,” and even spent part of my life as a vendedora selling wine on La Isla Del Encanta ~ Puerto Rico.

So, the day that Carey Sweet of the Cabernet Corporation (Navato, California) approached me about Viña La Playa, an imported wine from Chile, she instantly got my attention. And, as any good PR person, she’s kept me in her loop for things that are developing for Viña La Playa, which allows me to keep this brand top of mind and on the blog.

Viña La Playa, located in Chile’s Colchagua Valley, has just released two new white wines, a 2007 La Playa Block Selection Reserve Chardonnay, and a 2007 La Playa Block Selection Reserve Sauvignon Blanc. The wines are exceptional… Both are bright and crisp, clearly representing their cool climate region of Limarí Valley, Chile, and true to my varietal expectations. [Limarí Valley, Chile is a newer wine region located 250 miles north of Santiago, and is what the Cab Corp is cleverly calling “Chile’s ‘hot’ new ‘cool’ climate viticultural region.”]

I’m a huge fan of Sauvignon Blanc – more so than Chardonnay, today – and this 2007 La Playa Block Selection Reserve Sauvignon Blanc delivered a bit of the meow factor (always a plus in a Sauvignon Blanc), along with grapefruit, citrus notes, and an amazingly clean finish. This SB would be an exceptional aperitif wine, pairing well with cheese appetizers and perhaps even a creamy dill asparagus soup. (Added benefit, the screw cap!)

The 2007 La Playa Block Selection Reserve Chardonnay, also crisp and clean, completely delighted my palate, because I’m preferring Chards – these days – that are more lean and apple/citrus than warmer climate wines that exhibit more of the tropical fruit notes. This one showed green apple, star fruit, and a refreshing, lingering finish. It was very refreshing and would paired well with an Asian chicken stir-fry that I love to create using a mildly spicy Korean sauce.

As most wine imports are doing these days, both wines over-deliver in quality with their $10.99 price tag.

I particularly like Viña La Playa of Chile, because it’s still privately owned and operated as a partnership between the Axelsens and two promient Chilean winemaking legends: the Sutil and Errázuriz families. The winery encompasses 597 acres of prime property in the Colchagua Valley, where its vineyards enjoy a unique microclimate that fosters the growth of premium wine grapes.

If you see these wines on the shelves, give them a try. At this price point, you have very little to loose and everything to gain… Great wines for great times, on or off La Playa!