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Winner Details

New World: Pinot Noir - Chile

2019 Gold 1      Silver 2      Bronze 3      Commended 4
2018 Gold 2      Silver 2      Bronze 2      Commended 4

Chile usually struggles to get much beyond Silver medal level in the Sommelier Wine Awards (last year’s pair of top awards was a real rarity), so this represents a decent showing for the country’s winemakers. As well as typically Chilean ‘sweet fruit and tannin-driven wines’ our tasters found fresher, sappier versions – usually from Leyda. As a general guide, the best versions came once our tasters had taken a couple of steps up from the entry level.

What this tasting seemed to prove, however, is that while there is reasonable Pinot being made in Chile, no one region and no one producer is really dominating the horizon with this grape. It would probably help if they did. A Mornington Peninsula or an Ata Rangi to raise the bar a bit and generate unequivocal excitement year after year would help enormously.


‘This was a high quality flight. There were quite rich, heavily oaked wines, and at the other end of the spectrum were savoury, almost bretty, gamey wines. We noticed that the more middle-of-the-range price points were the most reliable style. At £12 or £13 these were quite good, with a lot of spice and meaty character.’ Olivier Gasselin, Hakkasan

‘I love that they work the wines in a different way to everyone else. They manage the tannins, so you have these voluptuous wines that have a Chilean signature.’ Michael Harrison, CuVée VIII

‘I really love Chilean wines, but this wasn’t my favourite flight.’ Melania Bellesini, The Fat Duck

‘Leyda Pinot is a real must-have on the list: it’s so charming and alluring on the nose. You want to have it by the glass, though only about half of our flight also delivered on the palate: fresh, confident, technically well made. A bit commercial for natural wine lovers, but for the regular consumer they really deliver. A big tick for Chilean Pinot Noir!’ Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader

‘The sweet spot was around £10, where there was really great value for money with good varietal typicity… wines that punch above their weight.’ Rebecca Coates, consultant

‘I was expecting something more. Most of them were at the cheaper end, very simple, light styles of Pinot Noir.’ Ennio Pucciarelli, Kahani London

Award winners

Found 10 wines

New World: Pinot Noir, Chile

Santa Rita, Gran Hacienda, Pinot Noir 2017, Aconcagua Valley, Chile

Gold medal winner

For Joseph Lunn of Suave Wine this was a clear Gold winner that had a very definite place on the list. Praising its judicious balance of oak and ripe fruit he said: ‘This style is so on trend, it would be perfect for a gastropub, and would fill the Pinot Noir gap very well.’ Sonal Clare of Purnell’s Restaurant agreed, adding that its ‘seductive, deep, ripe fruits and rosemary hints’ would make it a great match for ‘lamb chops and mint’.

£7.67 Bibendum

Santa Rita, Medalla Real, Gran Reserva, Pinot Noir 2016, Leyda Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

Joseph Lunn of Suave Wine found ‘bold red fruits’ in this Silver medal-winning wine, as well as ‘leather, herbs, spiciness, parsley and sweet cherry pie flavours on the palate’.

£11.60 Santa Rita Estates UK

Boutinot, Sierra Grande, Pinot Noir 2017, Central Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

‘Black cherries and rather aromatic,’ began team leader Martin Lam, describing a wine with ‘well-integrated oak that’s balanced with its pronounced bitterness on the finish’.

£6.50 Boutinot

Chocalan, Origen, Gran Reserva, Pinot Noir 2017, San Antonio Valley, Chile

Bronze medal winner

Carolina W Seibel of Moio Restaurant found ‘rose bush flower, cranberry and orange’ aromas in this wine, and thought it had ‘refreshing and delicate character and length’.

£24.98 Viña Chocalán

Lapostolle, Cuvée Alexandre, Pinot Noir 2015, Casablanca Valley, Chile

Bronze medal winner

Sonal Clare of Purnell’s Restaurant enjoyed this Bronze medal-winning wine’s ‘plum and fresh fruit character, with its fresh, dark spiciness and gamey length’.

£11.97 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Morandé, Gran Reserva, Pinot Noir 2017, Casablanca Valley, Chile

Bronze medal winner

For Joseph Lunn of Suave Wine this wine had a ‘fresh and bright nose and appearance’, and he was impressed by its ‘cherry, bubble gum flavours’.

£9.89 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Carmen, Gran Reserva, Pinot Noir 2016, Leyda Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Emiliana, Adobe, Reserva, Pinot Noir 2017, Bío Bío Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£6.70 Boutinot

Leyda, Single Vineyard, Las Brisas 2017, Leyda Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£12.17 Enotria&Coe

7 Colores, Gran Reserva, Pinot Noir/Semillon 2016, Casablanca Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£7.33 7 Colores