96

2014 Koyle Cerro Basalto, Los Lingues, Colchagua Valley

( £17, 14, The Wine Society )

Grown on basalt soils identified as ideal by the French terroir consultant, Claude Bourguignon, for Mediterranean grapes, this is a stunning blend of mostly Mourvèdre with Grenache, Carignan and Syrah. Liquorice, damson, tapenade and blackberry flavours are embellished by bright acidity, savoury, grippy tannins and just a hint of oak.

BuyDrinking window: 2018-24Similar Wines: £10-£20, 96-100, Chile, Red, Carignan, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah/Shiraz

How the other half drinks

by Matt Walls
Is there a quicker way to get to know someone than by flicking through their music collection or browsing their bookshelves? Both feel like a little glimpse into their soul....
93

2014 De Martino Viejas Tinajas Cinsault, Secano Interior/Coelemu, Itata Valley

( £10-15, 13%, Les Caves de Pyrene )

Marcelo Retamal is one of the most exciting winemakers in South America at the moment, crafting wines that are as refreshing as they are restrained. This delicious Cinsault was fermented in old terracotta amphorae, eschewing the oak that marrs too many Chilean reds. The result is a wine with refreshing, cherrystone and raspberry flavours, subtle tannins and impressive palate length. Chile should be making more wines like this.

BuyDrinking window: 2015-18Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Chile, Red, Cinsault

Braver New World

by Matt Walls
“Sorry I’m late sir. Ignore the bandage, I had an unexpected visit to the hospital to get my ear seen to. Anyway – I understand you’d like me to paint...
92

2013 De Martino Viejas Tinajas Muscat, Itata Valley

( £10-15, 12.5%, Les Caves de Pyrene )

De Martino’s Viejas Tinajas project is producing some of Chile’s most interesting wines at the moment. This savoury, aromatic white has a touch of grapeskin bitterness to it that adds structure as well as a layer of complexity. It’s not a typical Muscat by any means: you can taste the grapey notes of the variety but they are subtle and restrained rather than overt. 

BuyDrinking window: 2015-16Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Chile, White, Muscat à Petits Grains

Split infinity

by Matt Walls
What do you feel like drinking tonight? Red or white? Still or sparkling? Dry or sweet? With an endless number of wines in countless styles to choose from, it’s necessary...
92

2011 Gandolini, Cabernet Sauvignon, Las 3 Marias, Maipo Andes, Maipo Andes, Maipo Valley

( £25, 14%, The Wine Society )

This impressive Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the foothills of the Andes rather than the flatter expanses of the Maipo Valley and it shows in the quality and definition of the wine. It’s a dense, compact, ageworthy red with rich flavours of plum, cassis and blackberry, sweet, toasty oak, structured tannins and excellent concentration. Built to last, it should develop further complexity over the next five to eight years. 

BuyDrinking window: 2014-16Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, Chile, Red, Cabernet Sauvignon
94

2011 Los Amigos, Rogue Vine, Super Itata, Itata Valley

( POA, 13.1% )

If its name is anything to go by, this is the top of the range red from Leonardo Erazo’s Itata operation. It’s a typicaly harmonious blend of Syrah, Malbec and Carignan, made in homeopathic quantities. Light, fresh and focused, it’s another outstanding red with savoury tannins, tangy acidity and a beguiling combination of flavours: clove, pepper, plum, black cherry and graphite. Complex winemaking of a high order. 

BuyDrinking window: 2014-16Similar Wines: 91-95, Chile, Red, Carignan, Malbec, Syrah/Shiraz
90

2008 Los Amigos, Rogue Vine, El Insolente Single Vineyard, Itata Valley

( POA, 13.2% )

Made by Leonardo Erazo, whose day job is as winemaker at Altos Las Hormigas in Mendoze, this is one of a series of outstanding Chilean wines made from specific sites in Itata. The grape vareity here Carignan, which deserves to be considered as one of Chile’s best varieties. It’s a refreshing, minerally, savoury red with bottle-aged characters of game and sweet spices, fine, but firm tannins and bright, cool climate acidity. 

BuyDrinking window: 2014-16Similar Wines: 91-95, Chile, Red, Carignan