Chile is recognized as the producer of some of the world’s best values in red wines, particularly cabernet sauvignon. Maipo Valley, the country’s most historic wine region, is particularly known for its full-bodied cabernet that often has firm tannins and a distinctive minty flavor. But Chile is also home to some fabulous white wines, including chardonnay from the Limarí region. The following are examples of Chilean cabernet and chardonnay that have received scores in the 90s from leading wine critics.
Marqués de Casa Concha 2018 Chardonnay, Limarí, Chile
Bought • Costco, 4200 Rusty Road, in September for $12.69
Description • One of my favorite white wine finds this year, this full-bodied chardonnay is rich and elegant. It’s made under Concha y Toro’s highly regarded Marqués de Casa Concha label, known for single-vineyard, estate-bottled wines from different Chilean appellations. Aged in French oak, this is a beautifully balanced, complex white that has mineral notes and tastes of apples, pears and citrus with hints of vanilla. It ends with a long, vibrant finish. This is a food wine that would pair with lobster and crab, salmon and white meats.
Santa Ema 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva, Maipo Valley, Chile
Bought • Costco, 4200 Rusty Road, in September for $8.99
Description • This full-bodied cabernet definitely delivers a lot of bang for your buck. It comes from Maipo Valley-based Santa Ema, which has built a reputation for its high-quality, consumer-friendly wines. It has an inviting aroma of dark fruit and cedar that makes you want to take a sip. Aged in a combination of French and American oak barrels for eight to 10 months, it has concentrated flavors of black cherries and currants with notes of mint and tobacco. A lively cabernet with good acidity and ripe tannins, it would go well with grilled beef and lamb.