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Home Winners > Winners 2019 > NEW WORLD: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Bordeaux Blends - Chile

Winner Details

New World: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Bordeaux-style blends - Chile

2019 Gold 6      Silver 10    Bronze 4       Commended 20
2018 Gold 1      Silver 5      Bronze 4       Commended 9

This was a strong performance from Chile. It managed its best Bordeaux blends medal haul since 2016, and its biggest ever number of wines on the Gold List in this category.

For a country that has majored on Cabernet, Merlot and blends thereof, you might think that it’s only natural that it would outpoint its New World rivals in this area, but in fact it’s a rare occurrence.

And while our judges have often tended to see the country’s strength as being mostly in the sub-£8 category – largely because the top wines were so overblown and out of balance – this year there was a lot more positivity across the board.

Yes, of course the lower-end wines were juicy, easy to drink and easy to sell. But we also managed to get a really good ‘ladder’ of Gold wines for our list: three under £10, a couple around the £13 mark and one show-off wine over £20.

This, combined with the fact that we had top medals from all the country’s key wine regions, and a large bulge of Silvers, is proof of a category with a lot of good wines on show – and a welcome return to form after the horror show of last year.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘There was a lack of fruit at the cheaper end, but really good in the middle. And if you love classic New World styles, the expensive wines were good and will last.’ Lionel Periner, team leader

‘The wines are reining in that pungent sweet character, and there was more variation. The ones we liked were not too jammy, not too strong and not afraid of structure.’ Charlie Young, team leader

‘Some of the more entry-level stuff I preferred – attention to detail and drinkability.’ Sean Arthur, Cliveden House

‘Great quality throughout the Maipo flight. Altitude shone through, they were wines with more freshness and restraint. The challenge was to find those that delivered balance, not too extracted, not too oaky, not too dry, but also good value. And we found some.’ Mattia Mazzi, The River Cafe

‘Really nice tight group, showing what’s expected from complex, heavy New World Cabernet. They do have a place on a list as a heavier steak wine, or for venison.’ Tobias Gorn, Boisdale Restaurants

‘Chile wants to promote its premium wines, and it should do. It has source material and there is a market for it.’ Martin Lam, team leader
‘Slightly disappointing. We all know they can do fantastic wines.’ Daniel Jonberger, Rockliffe Hall

Award winners

Found 40 wines

New World: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc & Bordeaux Blends: Chile

Sur Valles, Patagón, Family Reserve 2017, Curicó Valley, Chile

Gold medal winner

This deserving Gold winner was ‘intense and interesting’, according to an impressed Sean Arthur of Cliveden House, who went on to describe ‘cassis, red cherry, blackcurrant and rich chocolate notes, along with some eucalyptus and toasted vanilla, too’. For team leader Lionel Periner it was ‘young, with great potential’ and had notes of ‘toasted bread, dark fruit and vanilla, with good acidity and an elegant finish’, while Le Gavroche’s Rémi Cousin appreciated additional ‘crushed black pepper and leather notes’ and its ‘good structure and refreshing palate’.

£13.72 Survalles

Viña Requingua, Toro de Piedra, Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Gold medal winner

Judges were unanimous in their praise of this Gold-worthy wine. Michael Fiducia of The Royal Automobile Club spoke of ‘cassis and bramble bush, with a crisp freshness on the palate’, while Tomasz Kuszneruk of Pavilion Wine appreciated notes of ‘blackcurrant leaf, mint and Provençal herbs’. Sue Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, inspired by its ‘savoury character, with Chinese five spice and rich baked plums’, thought it would be an excellent match for ‘venison and Indian spices’.

£9.85 Survalles

Via Wines, Chilcas, Red One Blend 2015, Maule Valley, Chile

Gold medal winner

Little surprise that this Chilean red took home a Gold medal, with Manor House Hotel’s Anita Vighova calling it ‘a powerhouse, with lots of green bell pepper and cedar notes on the nose and palate’, while team leader Charlie Young spoke of ‘excellent judgement of fruit and balance of oak’. For Chiara Sieni of Bottles Group it had ‘balsamic and mint notes, as well as some bold tannins balanced by crunchy red cherry fruit’.

£21.18 Viña San Rafael S.A

Via Wines, Chilensis, Reserva, Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Gold medal winner

This Chilean Cabernet earned its Gold List spot with appealing aromas of ‘eucalyptus, menthol and plums, with a hint of tar’, according to The Royal Automobile Club’s Michael Fiducia, who was taken with its ‘crunchy cherry palate’, too. Team leader Charlie Young had praise for its ‘fresh red berry aromas’ and found it ‘plummy on the palate’, while 67 Pall Mall’s Beatrice Bessi described ‘sweet, ripe fruits like blueberries and strawberries, and a good body’.

£7.70 Viña San Rafael S.A

Tabalí, Talud, Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Maipo Valley, Chile

Gold medal winner

‘Ripe red and black fruits and well-integrated oak’ characterised this impressive Gold Lister’s aromas for Mattia Mazzi of The River Cafe, who described it as ‘a beauty, with fruit shining through on the palate, with ripe tannins and acidity that are harmonious with the weight of the wine’. ‘Refreshing, complex and well balanced,’ praised 67 Pall Mall’s Beatrice Bessi, who described ‘lovely, fresh red and blue fruit, as well as some peppermint and vanilla notes’.

£13.00 Boutinot

Santa Rita, 120, Merlot 2017, Central Valley, Chile

Gold medal winner

This couldn’t have been anything but Gold, with its ‘juicy and easy-drinking style’, as 67 Pall Mall’s Terry Kandylis described it, before going on to find ‘a touch of spice, with savoury undertones, and complex minty-chocolate notes, too’. Chiara Sieni of Bottles Group thought it was ‘elegant on the nose, evoking blackberry fruit, and leading to more dark fruit on the palate, with a herbaceous finish’, while Le Gavroche’s Rémi Cousin had particular praise for its ‘lovely, fruity, velvet mouthfeel’.

£7.27 Matthew Clark

Sur Valles, Patagón, Gran Reserva, Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

‘Smoke and plum notes, with an oaky palate of cherries and tobacco,’ described Daniel Jonberger of Rockliffe Hall. ‘A deep, dark, layered wine,’ added The Royal Automobile Club’s Michael Fiducia, who went on to describe ‘herb and spice notes, with some good length too’.

£9.50 Survalles

Chocalan, Reserva, Merlot 2014, Maipo Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

Tobias Gorn of Boisdale Restaurants found this ‘fresh to start, leading towards a palate driven by some big, concentrated fruit, as well as some wood spice’, while team leader Lionel Periner thought that ‘good acidity, with some black pepper and olive notes, make this a good food wine’.

£17.93 Viña Chocalán

Veramonte, Primus, The Blend 2015, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

This opened with ‘deep cherry notes on the nose’, according to Rockliffe Hall’s Daniel Jonberger, who found it overall to be ‘a smooth and light red, with good balance of fruit and tannins’. Michael Fiducia of The Royal Automobile Club further commented on its ‘lifted red fruit aromas, silky mouthfeel and slight crunchiness’.

£12.10 Matthew Clark

Valdivieso, Caballo Loco NV, Central Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

‘A beauty, with a lifted and appealing nose of sweet cassis,’ began The River Cafe’s Mattia Mazzi, going on to find a palate with a ‘plump fruit core wrapped in firm but approachable tannins, and packed with freshness’.

£30.97 Bibendum

Valdivieso, Caballo Loco, Grand Cru, Apalta 2015, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

A combination of ‘tea tree oil and menthol, with some bramble fruit’, according to Michael Fiducia of The Royal Automobile Club, led to what Daniel Jonberger of Rockliffe Hall described as ‘a complex palate with an abundance of dark fruit, and hints of chocolate, leading to a long, pleasant finish’.

£20.16 Bibendum

Chateau Los Boldos, Grande Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Cachapoal Andes, Chile

Silver medal winner

Team leader Charlie Young appreciated this Cabernet Sauvignon’s ‘black and red fruit, as well as leafy aromas’, going on to find ‘a palate that is full, balanced, expressive and long’. ‘This is impressive winemaking,’ he concluded.

£10.11 Liberty Wines

Viña Requingua, Potro de Piedra 2016, Curicó Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

‘Black plums and black cherries, and a hint of cassis, with soft tannins on the dry palate,’ thought Kai Mayfair’s Elisa Soggia, while Tobias Gorn of Boisdale Restaurants found ‘chocolate and coffee notes, and subtly integrated oak’.

£14.43 Survalles

Sur Valles, Santa Alba, Reserva, Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Central Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

Team leader Lionel Periner described aromas of ‘cooked dark fruit, oak, vanilla, black pepper and pencil’, which led to ‘a full-bodied palate that’s spicy too’. Tobias Gorn of Boisdale Restaurants, meanwhile, called it ‘a level up, and classic in style, with eucalyptus and cassis notes’.

£8.08 Survalles

Casas del Toqui, Reserva, Merlot 2016, Cachapoal Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

‘Floral aromas, with ripe berry fruit too, leading to a good palate, with smooth tannins and a refreshing finish,’ thought team leader Lionel Periner, while Elisa Soggia of Kai Mayfair described it as ‘easy drinking, with good balance between acidity, tannins and alcohol’.

£6.85 Frederic Robinson

Pérez Cruz, Reserva, Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Maipo Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

‘A full-bodied wine, with good bramble and dark fruit,’ began team leader Lionel Periner, while Elisa Soggia of Kai Mayfair appreciated its ‘rich tannins and low acidity’. Beatrice Bessi of 67 Pall Mall also spoke of its ‘lovely texture’, as well as identifying ‘layers of red and blue fruit, as well as jalapeños in jelly’.

£10.53 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Tierra Antica, Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Central Valley, Chile

Bronze medal winner

‘Leafy blackcurrant aromas, leading to a dry palate with decent tannins that work nicely with the fruit here,’ said team leader Charlie Young.

£6.57 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

7 Colores, Aox NV, Multi-Region, Chile

Bronze medal winner

For 67 Pall Mall’s Terry Kandylis, this was ‘an unpretentious wine, and fruit driven, with blueberry and yoghurt notes, as well as some peach skin’.

£8.48 7 Colores

Haras de Pirque, Hussonet, Gran Reserva, Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Maipo Valley, Chile

Bronze medal winner

‘An enticing nose of cassis, leading to a juicy palate with a good tannic backbone, and a dry, peppery finish,’ thought Mattia Mazzi of The River Cafe.

£10.95 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Emiliana, Adobe, Reserva, Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Central Valley, Chile

Bronze medal winner

‘Fruit forward, with appealing sweet cassis notes and a spiciness, with good concentration of fruit, fresh acidity and some smooth tannins,’ said The River Cafe’s Mattia Mazzi.

£6.70 Boutinot

Sur Valles, Patagón, Grand Reserve, Carmenère/Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£9.50 Survalles

Luis Felipe Edwards, Gran Reserva, Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£8.55 Matthew Clark

Via Wines, Oveja Negra, Reserva, Cabernet Franc/Carmenère 2018, Maule Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Via Wines, Oveja Negra, Reserva, Carmenère/Merlot 2018, Maule Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Montes Alpha, Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£10.82 Liberty Wines

Felix Solis, Casa Vista, Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Central Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£6.16 Matthew Clark

Valdivieso, Caballo Loco, Grand Cru, Sagrada Familia 2016, Curicó Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£20.08 Bibendum

Alma de Chile, Reserva, Merlot 2016, Central Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Viña Requingua, Toro de Piedra Merlot 2017, Curicó Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£9.85 Survalles

Emiliana, Adobe, Reserva, Merlot 2017, Rapel Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£6.70 Boutinot

Viña Requingua, Potro de Piedra 2015, Curicó Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£14.43 Survalles

Sur Valles, Santa Alba, Grand Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£9.50 Survalles

Alma de Chile, Reserva, Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Central Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Apaltagua, Signature, Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Maipo Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Apaltagua, Envero, Gran Reserva, Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Curicó Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Veramonte, Merlot 2017, Casablanca Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£8.61 Matthew Clark

Ventisquero, Enclave 2013, Maipo Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Via Wines, Chilensis, Reserva, Merlot, 2018, Maule Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Santa Rita, Medalla Real, Gran Reserva, Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo 2016, Maipo Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£10.53 Matthew Clark

Siegel, Single Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£13.80 Carson Wines

 

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