Panilonco Merlot-Malbec Reserva 2011

Peck_PaniloncoMerlotMalbec2011An inexpensive red from the Colchagua Valley of Chile.

Winemaker:  Panilonco (by Viñedos Errazuriz Ovalle S.A.)
Wine:  Chief of Lions Merlot-Malbec Reserva
Varietal:  Red Blend
Vintage:  2011
Appellation:  Colchagua Valley, Chile D.O.
Price:  $4.99 at Trader Joe’s

Notes:  This budget-friendly offering was a deep red in the glass.  It is a medium-bodied mix of 60% Merlot and 40% Malbec.  It had a soft, round bouquet of dark fruit, with hints of earth, oak and anise.  On the tongue I found plum, blackberry, a bit of clay, and benzine.  As the wine breathed, the plum flavor lifted a tad to more of a currant while the rest remained consistent.  Tannins are moderate and provide a grassy finish.  Alcohol is 13%, and acidity seemed OK.  Some, no doubt, will be put off by the benzine.  I found nothing to complain about.  I think it will do just fine as a table wine paired with meat dishes.

Important: I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur.  See “About” for the full disclaimer.

Trader Joe’s Viñas Chilenas Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2012

OK!  Back to business – tasting primarily inexpensive wines.  This Chilean Sauvignon Blanc from Trader Joe’s is definitely a budget-friendly selection.  In fact, I almost didn’t grab it because of my last experience with a $3.99 bottle of wine.  Happily, this TJ private label was worth investigating.

Winemaker:  VSPT, Vitacura for Trader Joe’s
Wine:  Trader Joe’s Viñas Chilenas Sauvignong Blanc Reserva
Varietal:  Sauvignong Blanc
Vintage:  2012
Appellation:  Valle Central, Chile
Price:  $3.99 at Trader Joe’s

Notes:  In the glass this wine is a pretty light yellow.  On the nose I found scents of citrus, pear and honeysuckle.  Flavors for me were a core of lemon throughout, hints of pear, and some zest at the finish.  I would almost add a bit of honey, except it wasn’t the taste of honey but the sweetness.  In fact, at times the flavors came together in a lemon drop sort of way (not as intense as the candy).  This is a light wine – light-bodied and light on the taste buds.  Alcohol is at 12%, and acidity is good.  Light though it is, I think it could stand up to a Sea Bass or Tilapia entree.

Important: I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur. See “About” for the full disclaimer.

Terrenal Chardonnay 2012

Peck_TerrenalChardonnay2012I am trying to mix things up here by not repeating too often back-to-back.  In other words, I’m trying to jump around and taste wines from different areas and of different varieties each time.  I hope that keeps the site fresh and interesting for folks who drop in.  This time I did travel to South America again. [Remember, I travel by bottle on this blog.]  However, I hopped over the Andes to Chile via Chardonnay.

It’s interesting the things one learns while preparing to blog about a wine.  For instance, did you know that the word “terrenal” means “of the earth”  and “curicó” reportedly means “black waters?”  Thankfully, though, the names of the winery and the valley where the grapes were grown do not seem to have affected the characteristics of this wine in the least.  Which is good, because I don’t know that I’d enjoy an earthy Chardonnay that was a deep pitch color in the glass.  Here’s what I found instead.

Winemaker:  Terrenal (Jose Pedro Gomez)
Varietal:  Chardonnay
Vintage:  2012
Appellation:  Curicó Valley, Chile
Price:  $4.99 at Trader Joe’s

Notes:  This Chilean Chardonnay is very light-bodied and a pale yellow in the glass.  On the nose I found citrus and ripe pear.  Flavors for me were citrus aplenty with notes of pear and toasty oak, finishing on a zing of lemon grass.  There is also just a touch of chalkiness.  Acidity is fairly bright, and alcohol is at 13.5%.  This wine is also kosher.  I mentioned that the wine is light-bodied.  Indeed, it is.   If you want more viscosity (that coat-the-tongue feeling almost like oil) and/or a big, bold flavor profile that many Californian and Australian Chardonnays have become known for — this is not your Chardonnay.  That being said, it is an AOK wine, and I think it will pair just fine with almost any seafood.  And, it’s $4.99!

Important: I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur.  See “About” for the full disclaimer.

Frontera Sauvignon Blanc 09

Unpacking yet another transfer from Blogarhythms.
Almost done … almost finished.


More from the folks at Frontera.  This time a white.

Vineyard:     Frontera (by Concha Y Toro)
Varietal:       Sauvignon Blanc
Vintage:       2009
Appellation: Central Valley – Chile
Price:          $6.49
Notes:         Nice citrus with floral notes on the nose.  Core flavors for me were kiwi and lemon grass.  Considering I bought this bottle on sale for $4.00, I have absolutely no complaints.

Important:  I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur.  See “About” for the full disclaimer. 

Concha Y Toro Sunrise Chardonnay 2008

Another post transferred from Blogarhythms.  Given the date (Feb. 2010), I’m sure this is no longer available.  But it sets things into perspective – for my blog, for my tasting history, and for any future experiences with the same wine from another vintage. 

Did I mention that I’ve been keeping tasting notes for several years now?  Don’t get concerned; I won’t share them all here.  But I thought this particular selection would be of interest to others like me looking for good values in wine.  I had this quite recently, too.

Vineyard:     Sunrise (by Concha Y Toro)
Wine:           Chardonnay
Vintage:       2008
Appellation: Central Valley – Chile
Price:          $7.99

Notes:         Nice apple and lemon with a hint of grass.  It was surprisingly flaccid in the mid-palate for me.  Perhaps I should give it another go just to be sure I wasn’t having an off day.  Not a particularly bad wine; in fact not at all offensive.  Just not a very interesting wine for my taste.  Of course, given the very reasonable price, you could do worse.

Important:  I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur.  See “About” for the full disclaimer.