Chile’s wine country stretches over 1500 km of valleys from north to south along the nation’s coast. It runs the gamut of biomes from arid deserts to the north, icy Patagonia to the south, the Andes Mountains to the east and enjoys the chilly winds of the Pacific Ocean’s Humbolt Current to the west. These extremes of temperature, elevation and location create the varied terroir from which Chile’s 356 exporting wineries cultivate the country’s huge range of flexible vintages and is why Chile has found success making such a broad range of wine styles.
To highlight the breadth and depth of Chilean wine currently available in Malaysia, with support from the Chilean Embassy, Gallo Wine Bar has made available 18 very specific Chilean wine labels, curated by sommelier Mandy Chin, the current Malaysian Cepas de Chile Champion.
According to Chilean Ambassador, Diego Velasco, Chile’s five-century-old national industry has been undergoing an unseen evolution. “Chilean wineries have gained acclaim by emphasising premium varietals and prioritising exports. The classic French-inspired wines which put Chile in the global spotlight are still being produced but other wineries are pushing boundaries into new territory and taking inspiration from the country’s roots. I find the best wine is the wine you personally like and Chile’s huge variety of choices lets everyone find something they will enjoy.”
Mandy Chin added, “Chile makes both classic and unusual wines exceptionally well because of the local winegrowers have a wealth of experience across geologically diverse regions, each with its own unique terroir. They have figured out the circumstances to best support each grape varietal. We want to take our guests on an exploration of Chilean wine country including some of the best vintages only available at Gallo.”
According to Mandy, these world-class vintages include labels of exceptional fame among connoisseurs. Sena for example defeated some of the most famous French and Italian premium wines including Lafite-Rothschild, Margaux, Latour and Solaia in the Berlin Tasting 2004. Many international competitions later it is continuing to change people’s perception of Chilean wines.
There is also the Clos Apalta produced from the exceptional terroir Apalta, Colchagua Valley and recognised as one of the most iconic wines in South America. The region facilitates the growth of Carmenere, a varietal mistaken for Merlot until 1994 and of great Chilean national pride. The TerraMater Mater 2017 was developed from a secret and rare grape blend to let the wine express the terroir Maipo Valley for a preconception-free, interactive experience.
At a preview hosted by Gallo Wine Bar, guests were able to sample six of the vintages currently on offer.
An authentic blend of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot varietals with Carmenere adding a distinct Chilean personality. From a volcanic vineyard in Central Aconcagua, proximity to the Pacific enhances the ripe intensity and freshness.
Stunning vibrant aromas of blackcurrant, blueberry, redcurrant, flowers, tobacco leaf and liquorice. Graceful balance with seamless structure, silky tannins and lifted acidity. Intense. Precise. Perfumed. Complex.
A blend of Carmenere, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The ambition of crafting the perfect wines founded the exceptional terroir in Apalta, Colchagua Valley. Clos Apalta was born in 1997 and was quickly recognised as one of the most iconic wines in South America. Its 2005 vintage was voted TOP#1 by the Wine Spectator Magazine and its 2017 vintage was rated by 100 points by American wine critic James Suckling, in addition to holding many more awards.
Bright colour with a hint of purple, revealing harmonious aromas of red fruits, spice, tobacco and dried flowers. On the palate, it is well integrated with delicate fruits of raspberries, blackberries, red cherries, bell pepper, black pepper, olives, a hint of smoke, cocoa and leather. Full body, plush tannins, great acidity.
Developed from a secret and rare grape blend to let the wine express its terroir. Once nothing grew in Isla De Maipo, but over decades, the Maipo River deposited sediment combined with proper irrigation and the nutrients contributed by the droppings of 60,000 laying hens led to the creation of the ultra-premium wine that could only be named Mater (mother in Latin), developed in a new terroir created layer by layer.
An attractive array of ripe fruit, including black cherry, blueberry, red cherry and red plum accompanied by forest floor, mint, chocolate with a touch of smoked meat, sweet spicy notes and oak. A bold complex wine, elegantly structured with firm tannins and balanced acidity.
Located in the heart of Curico Valley at the foothills of the Andes Mountains are 75 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon, and home to TerraMater Altum. Strict management of the vines and controlled deficit practices reduce the irrigation of this vineyard to almost zero. This wine was blind tasted in the most recent Cepas de Chile competition.
Deep and intense red-violet colour. Medium-full body, good tannin structure, long finish and great evolution of bottle from fresh red and blackberries at the start, to a hint of cooked fruits later and gradually revealing the spicy notes of vanilla, black pepper and coffee. Mild balsamic tones enhance the complexity.
The Single Vineyard 8 Grapes, a unique red blend from the Aconcagua Valley, land of premium grapes, includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Carignan, Petit Syrah, Malbec, Mouvedre, Carmenere, Petit Verdot. The valley’s mountainous soils and extreme thermal amplitude make it the perfect home for these eight Mediterranean varietals and delivers an elegant, intense, full-bodied wine with mature tannins.
This red blend presents a deep ruby colour with violet hues. Its complex nose displays aromas of red fruits, like plum and berries with a hint of liquorice and mocha. On the palate, it presents good concentration and volume. Soft and silky tannins, round and elegant with a spicy finish.
Maule is a sub-region at the southern end of Central Valley where Carignan, increasingly famous for dry farmed and old vines, is the star varietal. Made from Carignan grapes with no artificial irrigation and where the vine is forced to search for underground water.
A fruit-driven wine with the aroma of ripe red berries including cherries and raspberries, earthy, smoked meat with subtle liquorice and peppery notes.
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