with our wine correspondent Cormac Power, proprietor of The Fat Angel Restaurant, Cathedral Square, Waterford
2018 vintage of wines produced in Chile have, broadly speaking, received outstanding reviews for their quality. There was many who had hoped that this consistency of quality and yield would continue unaffected by the ravages of climate change seen in Europe and elsewhere. The 2019 season has had its problems with sharp spikes in temperature over the summer and many areas are experiencing drought resulting in a lower yield of up to 20% from last year.
Chile is still a fascinating wine country stretching almost 4,400km in length creating vastly different climates for growing grapes. Arid desert conditions in the north to cool conditions in the south. The image of Chile is still well made wines at reasonable prices; a successful combination anywhere. The omnipresent Pacific Ocean to the west and the Andes to the east provide the perfect cooling conditions for grape growing.
More importantly this means there are near perfect conditions for an array of varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon in warmer areas and Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in cooler regions. However, I have tasted some outstanding Carmenere from Chile recently and believe that focus on this variety will continue so check it out if you can.
Wine of The Week
Santa Carolina Reserve Merlot: This Colchagua Estate Merlot originates from Los Lingues and Miraflores Estates. A superb offering with spicy notes of cinnamon and tobacco laced with red fruit aromas.