Santa Rita Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Some wines are so full of flavors and nuance, I almost feel like I can’t do them justice with a description.  In fact, I probably can’t.  Still, I do my best and enjoy trying.  Other wines are so amazingly straightforward, it takes only a word or two to express the essence of their character.  That isn’t a judgement, by the way.  Sometimes the right wine for a particular occasion is the kind that makes a singular impact.

Winemaker:   Santa Rita
Wine:  120 Sauvignon Blanc
Varietal:  Sauvignon Blanc
Vintage:  2014
Appellation:  Valle Central DO, Chile
Price: $9.69

Notes:  Grapefruit

 

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Viña Maipo Chardonnay 2015

Some wines I remember for their impact on my senses – their bouquet, their flavors.  Others I remember as part of what I was doing when I drank them – at a birthday party, concert, special restaurant, etc.  When I popped the cork on this bottle, my sweetie and I had decided to catch up on our pop culture and begin watching Season 1 of the show True Detective via HBO Now.  I truly didn’t realize how dark the story line would be, or I might have opted for something else.  The juxtaposition of a light white wine and the grim crimes being investigated on the screen, however, may have made both more memorable.

Winemaker:  Viña Maipo
Wine:  Mi Pueblo
Varietal:  Chardonnay
Vintage:  2015
Appellation:  Central Valley, Chile
Price:  $5.00

Notes:  This light-bodied, light-hued Chardonnay had bright acidity and a bouquet consisting of lemon, pineapple and spice.  Alcohol was at 13%.  On the palate I tasted lemon, pineapple, grass and a very forward kerosene note.  I’d suggest pairing this with food as (for me) the kerosene note was a bit off-putting.  Maybe that’s why it was marked down from $12 to $5.

Natura Pinot Noir 2013

Here is a wine called Nature from Chile as well as some scenes of nature’s beauty in Chile.

Vineyard: Natura by Emiliana Vineyards
Wine:  Pinot Noir
Vintage:  2013
Appellation:  Colchagua Valley, Chile
Price: $9.99 at Whole Foods

Notes:  I love it when a wine surprises me (in a good way).  In this case it was the bouquet that brought a fun aroma of strawberry soda to my nose as well as scents of earth, pepper and green herbs.    This Pinot was light-bodied with good-to-high acidity and light tannins.  Alcohol was at 13.5%.  On the palate I caught flavors of strawberry, white pepper, green herbs and a hint of mushroom.  I found it a pleasant, gentle selection.  Although Turkey Day is a long way off, this wouldn’t be bad at all with a gently seasoned bird.

Rubus Chardonnay 2014

I try not to consult the winemaker’s or wineseller’s notes on a particular wine when I’m looking for a new wine experience.  Yes, I know they can prove helpful in finding things we think we’ll like based on the flavors we prefer and the wine experiences we’ve enjoyed in the past.  I definitely find them useful when searching for a wine to accompany a particular meal or for an occasion.  And I can’t completely ignore them if – as in some retailers – descriptors are posted with every selection.  But since I don’t want all my wines to taste the same, I don’t pay close attention to them when I’m browsing.

I also try not to read the back label before drinking a wine on the chance that it’ll contain tasting notes.  I don’t want my own experience to be affected by the suggestions of certain flavors and aromas being present.  I don’t think I’m all that easily beguiled, but I like the idea of starting with a blank slate when experiencing a wine for the first time.  And my experience has proved that, although often similar to what I taste, I don’t always agree with winemaker notes.   In some cases their notes and mine are quite different.  This wine is a case in point.  You can read the importer’s/winemaker’s description by clicking on the picture.  My notes are below.  Like night and day almost.  If you have tried this selection, I’d be interested in hearing what you found.

Winemaker:  Rubus
Varietal:  Chardonnay
Vintage:  2014
Appellation:  Colchagua Valley, Chile
Price:  $14.99 at Whole Foods

Notes:  This Chilean Chardonnay was pale yellow in the glass with a faint bouquet of lanolin, citrus and spice.  Acidity seemed good, and alcohol was at 13.5%.  Flavors I found consisted primarily of clementine and grass with fleeting whispers of spice.  I found it to be a somewhat restrained selection.  Not the average New World Chardonnay.  I liked it!

 

Crucero Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Although you can’t tell it from my posts on this blog, I’ve been drinking mostly reds for weeks now.  Perhaps it would help if I were better about getting my posts up in a timely manner.  Then you might know I’ve been enjoying reds of late.  And that is one of my New Year’s resolutions – to be more diligent about posting my wine experiences here.  Not doing too well so far, but there is time (and room) for improvement.  Ha!

Anyway, I was in the store the other day browsing and found myself drawn to the white wine shelves.  I even commented to the staff that I seemed to have a hankering for a white wine despite the chilly weather and piles of snow hanging around.  Having given voice to my thoughts, I decided to take action.

Winemaker:  Crucero
Varietal:  Sauvignion Blanc
Vintage:  2014
Appellation:  Curicó Valley, Chile
Price:  $9.99 at Whole Foods

Notes:  This Chilean Sauvignon Blanc was light-bodied and a light yellow in the glass.  On the nose I found plenty of citrus and a touch of pear.  Flavors basically mirrored the bouquet with the addition of warm spice notes.  Acidity was fairly bright, and alcohol was at 13%.  Quite pleasant overall.

Maniña Sauvignon Blanc 2014

My work is sort of boom or bust.  By that I mean that when it is quiet, you can hear the grass grow.  But when it gets busy, it can be key-ray-zee!  Thus, after a 12+ hours day of work recently, I stumbled into a Kroger store and grabbed a bottle of wine to accompany my very late dinner.  And let me say, this Kroger had the best wine selection I have ever seen in one of their stores.  I mean they even had a Heitz Cabernet Sauvignon on the shelves.  In my state, however, I knew anything that potentially complex and lovely would be wasted on me that evening.  Instead, my tired digits wrapped themselves around this Chilean white.

Winemaker:   Maniña
Varietal:  Sauvignon Blanc
Vintage:  2014
Appellation:  Valle Central, Chile
Price: $12.99

Notes:  The color was straw, and it’s bouquet held scents of citrus and tropical fruit.  It was light-bodied with decent acidity and 12.5% alcohol.  I tasted primarily citrus flavors with a hint of melon here and there.  It finished on a bracing citrus zest note.  It went fairly well with the frozen chicken strips I microwaved, but I think it might have been better with a nice seafood dish.  By the way, I did have the next day off.  Thank goodness!

Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

I seem to be feeling the influence of Basque Country all around me.  First, I went to a restaurant where the proprietor and his cuisine hail from the Basque region.  At the restaurant, SER, I also had some Basque wine.  And now I have inadvertently sampled a bottle of wine from a Chilean vineyard whose name, Los Vascos, means “the Basques.”  What an unexpected alignment of the stars and grapes!

Owned by Domaines Barons de Rothschild since 1988, Viña Los Vascos produces a full line of 4 reds (two blends, a Cabernet Sauvignon, and a Carménère), a Chardonnay, a Sauvignon Blanc and a Rosé.

Winemaker:  Los Vascos
Varietal:  Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage:  2013
Appellation: Colchagua, Chile
Price: $8.99

Notes:  This Los Vascos was dark ruby and had scents of tangy berries, earth, moss, oak, and spice in he bouquet.  Medium-bodied and high in acidity, it was dry at 14% alcohol.  Tannins were medium with a quick, firm grip.  It took a good twenty minutes for this selection to breathe.  Once it settled, I caught pepper, brambly woodiness, tobacco, camphor and red berries on the palate.  Pretty decent at this price point, I think.