1. Tasting on the same day as the release of the final miners in Chile, gave this tasting a much deeper significance.
    • Tasting these wines not only gave us a sense of place, but it was also a celebration of their release from Smother Earth.
  2. The miners were NOT in Chile’s wine region. They were further south.
    • We were given a large map of Chile, and I found their location before we began, so we could better understand the complete experience.
  3. The wines from Chile we tasted were all delicious, and had a decided sense of earthiness.
    1. This is coincidental to the miners being released from the earth, but I will now always associate that earthy experience. The emotional experience has marked that essence in my mind forevermore.
  4. All wines were new to us:
    1. Valdivieso Eclat 2005, Maule Valley
    2. De Martino Single Vineyard, Old Bush Vines, “Las Cruces” 2006, Cachapoal Valley
    3. Estampa Gold Assemblage Carmenere 2008, Colchagua Valley
    4. Viña Montes Limited Selection Cabernet Sauvignon Carmenere 2008, Colchagua Valley
    5. Maquis Lien, 2006, Colchague Valley
    6. Hacienda Araucano Clos de Lolol 2008, Colchagua Valley
    7. Emiliana Coyam 2007, Colchagua Valley
    8. Casas del Bosque, Gran Estate Selection, Private Reserve 2007, Casablanca Valley
  5. Rhone varieties are used extensively in red wine blends in Chile, besides the Bordeaux-style blends.
  6. Carmenere is a major blending components, even when Cabernet Sauvignon is present.
  7. We all tasted a sense of “place” in the wines. (Sondra Barrett, Jose Diaz, Debbie Shu, and Jo Diaz).
    • There were flavors that we had not experienced from other Bordeaux and Rhone blending wines.
  8. I expected that there would be much more use of Malbec….
    • More like Argentine wines, but I stand corrected.
  9. The wine regions of Chile are the following (all approximates by eyeballing the map without each degree being very speicific):
    • Elqui Valley ~ The most northern viticultural area, on Line 30° latitude
    • Limarí Valley ~ next on Line 30.5° latitude
    • Choapa Valley ~ Line 31.75° latitude
    • Aconcagua Valley ~ Line 33° latitude
    • Casablanca Valley (now I can put two and two together on Casablanca) ~ Line 33.3° latitude
    • San Antonia/Layda Valley ~ Line 33.5° latitude
    • Maipo Valley ~ Line 33.75° latitude
    • Rapel/Colchagua Valley  ~ Line 34.25° latitude
    • Rapel/Cachapoal Valley ~ Line 34.5° latitude
    • Curicó Valley ~ Line 35.1° latitude
    • Maule Valley ~ Line 36.25° latitude
    • Itata Valley ~ Line 36.8° latitude
    • Bío Bío Valley ~ Line 37.25° latitude
    • Malleco Valley ~ Line 38.25° latitude
  10. The Wines of Chile organization behind this tasting is very well organized.
    • The wineries themselves still have some catching up to do with American marketing. I could only find a few Websites to support the brands and provide links to each.

In this presentation, we were also given 1492 Olive Oil…  Just as I learned while I was in the Alentejo region of Portugal, Olive trees  are part and parcel for the Chilean wine grape growing region experience. The kit also included a tiny jar of Merquén Spice. It’s a combination of dried and smoked chiles, with salt, cumin and coriander. I’ve got to find a use for that one.

Because we tasted in a restaurant, it wasn’t as easy to follow the conversations on line in the virtual tasting meeting. Winemakers were all discussing their wines and winemaking practices. Had I tasted alone, I would have had those conversations to relay. It was all happening simultaneously on line; but, rather than follow the dialogue, my tasters and I had our own conversations and revelations going about the flavors.

It was a great tasting opportunity and experience, and I’m appreciative to be chosen as a resource for this one. I wish you could have all been there. I highly recommend finding any of these wines. You’ll have a great ¡Ole! tasting.

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