What to drink this week
The Chilean wine industry has come a long way in the past 20 years or so. There were always good-value Cabernet Sauvignons from large concerns such as Concha y Toro, but Chile used to struggle to convince the world that it could break the quality barrier and produce bottles of real distinction and character from individual terroirs. Chilean wine law, which only allows minimal geographical distinction—first of all, very large communes and, now, the three broad terms Costa, Entre Cordilleras and Andes—didn’t help.
The Chilean wine landscape is shifting, insists Harry Eyres
Why you should be drinking them
Despite these obstacles, a few companies have worked hard to give nuance and complexity to the Chilean wine landscape. None has been more innovative than Errázuriz, headed by the likeable Eduardo Chadwick, with the talented Francisco Baettig as chief winemaker. Erráruriz’s historic base is in the Aconcagua Valley, north of Santiago; it also makes exciting wines from Aconcagua Costa, close to the Pacific, and the muchlauded Viñedo Chadwick from Maipo.
What to drink
Chilean whites have failed to excite me much over the years, but things are changing. Errázuriz Single Vineyard Costa Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Aconcagua Valley (below, £11.99; www.waitrose.com) has exotic ripeness and complexity on the nose, then satisfyingly crisp acidity and length in the mouth—it’s excellent value. The lovely Errázuriz Max Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Aconcagua Valley (£12.99; www.waitrose.com) has a fresh, intense tobacco-and-blackcurrant nose and very good intensity on the palate. At an altogether higher level is Errázuriz Viñedo Chadwick 2008 (£145; www.oxfordwine.co.uk): it is subtle, elegant and beautifully focused.