Wine Press: Class acts from Chilean winemaker Errazuriz

WE ALL love a brand we can trust. Whether it’s a make of car you’ve always had or your favourite thick sliced white for chunky morning toast.

It’s not much different with wine. I bet most of you have a bottle of choice that you seek out whether it’s for a Friday night takeaway or when cooking a special meal for friends.

One of them for me is Errazuriz, the Chilean winemakers established in 1870 who have developed a deserved reputation with their consistently good wines.

This year – just like many before – Errazuriz have picked up a string of awards. Their philosophy was expressed by founder Don Maximiano who said “from the best land, the best wine”.

Chile can create perfect growing conditions. Imagine grapes like sensible sunbathers, Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blancenjoying warm sunny days and then settling down and de-stressing with cooling nights. This creates a slow build of flavours and aromas, with grapes sometimes irrigated by snow-melt.

Here’s a selection of Errazuriz wines and some retailers – keep an eye out as they are available elsewhere.

Errazuriz Aconcagua Costa Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2012, (RRP £12.49, Waitrose). A silver at the 2013 International Wine Challenge and a gold in the Annual Wines of Chile Awards. A vibrant wine with limes, fresh green peppers and peas on the nose and to taste. The typical varietal freshness has subtle complexity as some was aged on the lees.

Errazuriz Max Reserva Syrah 2011, (RRP £13.99, Cambridge Wine Merchants, Hailsham Cellars, The Vineyard). Not only a gold medal winner, but also voted Great Value Red Wine at the 2013 International Wine Challenge, where judges described it as having “concentrated good oak, blackcurrant and sweet spice”.

This is a wonderful, powerful, all-consuming, juicy cloud of black fruit. Velvety, rich and amazing with a simply grilled sirloin steak.

Errazuriz Wild Ferment Chardonnay 2011, (RRP £12.99, Majestic, Co-op) A bronze award at the IWC. Wild ferment wines are made from native yeasts, not pre-selected by the winery. Nature takes over. This wine has complexity from oak aging. There are tropical fruits on the nose with good acidity balancing nicely alongside gentle toast and honey creaminess.

Published in the saturday extra magazine August 31, 2013

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