Grape sense: Chile brings flavor

South American wines played a key role in revolutionizing the concept of value wines in recent years. Argentina has had great success with its seductive Malbec, earthy Bonarda and even the white difference of Torrontos.

Chile has been around longer but may be viewed more skeptically by growing mostly Cabernet, Syrah and Merlot wines. Early on much of the Chilean Sauvignon Blanc was quite tasty. But the reds were marred with a green pepper or vegetal flavor that was a little more than unappealing to many palates.

The Chilean wines I’ve tasted in the past year are increasingly of higher quality and interest. Chilean winemakers are also experimenting with Pinot Noir and even Rhone blends. The unique and different growing regions could make Chile a real wine star in coming years.

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