Chilean red wine is perhaps best known for being a dependable supermarket favourite, and indeed, these bottles have served our Friday night dinners well for some time now. But since 2004, there’s been a shift in the global perception of Chilean red wine following on from a tasting in Berlin, when two wines from Chile – Viñedo Chadwick 2000, and Seña 2001 – were voted in first and second place, above some of the most heralded Old World wines. From this point on, Chilean red wine has grown in popularity.
While the country has continued to produce some of the most reliable wines in the world, there are also plenty of elegant, exciting red wines coming out of Chile. Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon dominate in terms of vineyard space (and were well represented at the IWSC this year), but there’s been a move towards plantings of Chile’s heritage grapes – like País and Carménère – in recent years, as well as Pinot Noir.
This year’s IWSC saw a number of Chilean red wines with top scores (with enough of Chile’s calling card Carménère to justify a separate list) – with Casas del Bosque’s Pequeñas Syrah 2020 picking up a Silver medal and scoring 94 points. Judges praised its ‘concentrated flavours of forest fruits, plus vegetal notes of menthol and eucalyptus, layered with smoky spices.’ Moving on to Cinsault, Viña Luis Felipe Edwards’ Cinso 2021 also earned a Silver medal and 91 points for its ‘soft acidity, smooth tannins and a rounded palate.’ Pinot Noir made an appearance too, with a wine from Viña Indómita scoring 90 points and praised for its ‘pronounced nose of kirsch and slight chalky limestone finish.’
Every Chilean red wine in this year’s IWSC was judged by an expert panel, led by Master of Wine Alistair Cooper. Other judges on the panel included head sommelier at Mark’s Club Elvis Ziakos and Master Sommelier and wine consultant Matteo Montone.
Chilean red wine has much to offer the wine world, and the return of bottles made from heritage grapes to international markets makes the country one to watch. But here, we’re delighted to present our pick of the best Chilean red wine beyond the Carménère, as judged by the IWSC.
HOW DO WE JUDGE THESE WINES?
We run a tightly structured, rigorous wine tasting process. That means that each wine sample is pre-poured into numbered glasses and assessed blindly by the judges. Most importantly, our IWSC wine judges are experts in their field, who work across all sectors of the wine industry. For evidence, see our full list of judges.
HOW DO WE SCORE THESE WINES?
Only the best wines sampled receive a Gold or Silver award. For example, to win Gold, wines have to score between 95 and 100 points. Meanwhile, Silver wines range from 90 to 94 points. Click here to read more on our scoring system.
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