First things first: Have you ever wondered what the chemical is that’s responsible for the unique aroma of Sauvignon Blanc? Surely nothing is more distinctive in other wine grape varieties and you’d be right to think that. It is Methoxypyrazines (pronunciation link).
So, what is the chemical responsible for that aroma of Meth-oxy-pyra-zines” It’s a real mouthful, isn’t it? If you break it down, it becomes much easier. It all still sounds very uninviting (especially when “cat pee” is mentioned), but somehow it’s really exciting, when Sauvignon Blanc is on your radar screen. When recently asked to taste some samples from Concha y Toro, it was a pleasure to be looking forward to their straightforward refreshingness, of these newly released Sauvignon Blancs. The three arrived, from Chile, coming from one of the coolest climates on the planet. This climate is perfect for flavorful Sauvignon Blanc wines.
So, now that we’ve discussed Methoxypyrazines for beginnings to wine, let’s dig deeper.
These Chilean wines didn’t disappoint. Honestly, Concha y Toro has never been personally disappointing. When visiting Puerto Rico, for instance, and just wanting a bottle of wine with no fuss. There is was in H&R Food & Liquors. The wines are distributed in 140 countries, so no surprise. Still it was an immediately special and easy decision.
Having recently written about Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon samples, Sauvignon Blancs would be a perfect complement to that tasting. Eagerly, I looked forward to what spring wines would be knocking on my door. For my palate, they simply over deliver on any expectations.
[PHOTO Purchased: credit harvepino, all rights reserved.]
Notes From Vina Concha y Toro Family: Topography
- 3,000 miles long ~ 100 miles wide.
- 4 natural isolating barriers, north to south.
- North is driest desert in the world (Atacama) ~ South is a polar desert of Antarctica.
- Western coastline has icy Humboldt currents flowing up the western coastline.
- Eastern boarder, Argentina is separated by the Andes Mountains.
All of these geological features create four individual climates, in this incredibly unique Country. It defines and is expressed in their wines.
Perfect Sauvignon Blanc and Food Pairing
White wines go great with food, much more so than the reds. That’s because the tannins in red wines make wine pairings a bit tricky. Better to stick with the whites, if you aren’t generally seasoned in wine and cheese pairings. So, our favorite Sauvignon Blanc is a freshly seductive wine grape. It’s a great lead into blissful awakenings, like this example for a favorite food and wine pairing.
And, it’s a trusted, welcomed friend, if you have gone this cheese and wine route, before now. Like Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc is much lighter than most white wines and generally very refreshing, especially when paired with Chèvre (goat cheese).
[PHOTO credit, yatomo: Goat cheese with fig and honey.]
Also, as you explore more on your own, appetizers and entree dishes (with cream sauces) will pair really well.
Concha y Toro‘s Natural Ascendancy in their Wines
The following wines are all 100 percent Sauvignon Blanc and very affordable:
2020 Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Reserva Sauvignon Blanc
- The fruit is from the Mount Aconcagua region, which borders Argentina. This location stretches inland from the coast, above San Antonio’s Valle Central and the Región de Coquimbo. Both of these region wines composes the final blend.
- FROM WINE SEARCHER: “San Antonio Valley is a small wine region in Chile, located near the Pacific coast 80km (50 miles) as the crow flies west of the capital, Santiago. A relatively recent addition to the Chilean national vineyard, the region stands out as being able to produce quality Pinot Noir along with internationally respected white wines, including Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.”
- Flavors on my palate: When I swirled my wine glass and sniffed, I found aromas of greenness with bright minerality. It was also a bit floral with scents of Avalon lemons. When I tasted this wine, I found a right balance of Methoxypyrazines… It was not too much, nor not to little to enjoy the experience. On the finish, it lingered with its layers of Avalon lemons and a bit of tartness. It’s a very bright wine, really engaging, and loaded with deliciousness. But then, it’s Castillero del Diablo, so I expected no less.
D.O. Litueche, Colchagua Valley ($15)
- Sourced from their estate Ucúquer Vineyard, located in the arid hillsides of the Rapel River in Colchagua Valley, 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean. This Coastal San Antonio D.O. region is midway on the Pacific Coast.
- According to Wine-Searcher: San Antonio Valley is a small wine region in Chile, located near the Pacific coast 80km (50 miles) as the crow flies, west of Santiago, the capital. A relatively recent addition to the Chilean national vineyard, the region stands out as being able to produce quality Pinot Noir, along with internationally respected white wines, including Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.
- Flavors on my palate: The smoothness delivered by Chile did not go unnoticed. It delivered a bit of creaminess, minerality with citrus flavors, and had a fresh, long and intense finish. It’s very food friendly, and can also be easily enjoyed while sipping on a long, hot summer’s day. Simply delicious.
- From their Gran Reserva wines statements, we learn this: “First line of wines in which the origin of each variety is a different riverside vineyard, specifically the Tinguiririca, Cachapoal, Rapel, or Loncomilla rivers.”
[PHOTO credit, cicloco: Beautiful view of the harbor port of San Antonio and the City, Valparaiso, Chile, South America]
Chile |D.O. Campo Lindo Estate and Bio Bio Valley ($11)
- Fruit from this coastal San Antonio D.O.’s Campo Lindo Estate Sauvignon Blanc (translatd: Campo Lindo = Cute Field) and Bio Bio provide an ideal mixture of sand and red clay, for this Sauvignon Blanc | Chile | $12.5 alcohol.
- This Coastal San Antonio D.O. region is midway on the Pacific Coastline.
- Flavors on my palate: This medium bodied wine has aromas a bit more complex than the other two. I immediately found rich, melded flavors of apple, pares, and Meyer lemons. The flavors were very rich, and it has a very smooth, satisfying finish. Grown from organically grown grapes and considered vegan, enjoy it now. It also had the benefit of an easy-opening screw cap.
I’ve watched this company grow over the years. The wines of Concha y Toro have a lot of integrity. I would never try to underscored their value to you. The Gran Reserva wines are intended to preserve nature. Working with nature, versus against it, Concha y Toro is preserving our planet in small ways. This is important for each of us, including big companies. Practices of sustainability will have a way of building up to being planet saving. Global changes are becoming more visible to everyone. When a company like Concha y Toro is also committed, it makes it easy to appreciate these wines for more than flavors and a bit of alcohol in our blood streams, helping with digestion. It becomes earth changing. So, Cheers to that!
Thank you to Wine Business for aggregating this story.