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 an impressive number of Chilean red wines with top scores (with enough of Chile’s calling card Carménère to justify a separate list) – with Viña Siegel’s Ketran 2017 picking up a gold medal and scoring 95 points for its Syrah blend. Judges praised its ‘attractive aromatics,’ as well as its ‘plush’ tannins. Moving on to Merlot, and there were plenty of winners here too, with Constanza Schwaderer’s Kimbao Merlot Gran Reserva 2018 scoring a Silver-medal-worthy 92 points thanks to its savoury aromas, leading into ‘violets and sweet spice in the mouth, with a complex and generous finish.’ Viña Cono Sur’s Ocio Pinot Noir 2019 achieved a Silver medal for its ‘jammy notes’, while Tesco Finest Block 18 Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 was awarded a Gold medal.
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 Eric Zwiebel MS, wine writer and ClubOenologique.com columnist David Kermode, and wine buyer Kelly Stevenson.
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.
19 of the best Chilean red wines from the IWSC
- Viña Siegel, Ketran 2017, Colchagua Valley. 95/100
- Cono Sur, Tesco Finest Block 18 Cabernet Sauvignon 2019, Colchagua Valley. 95/100
- Viña Cono Sur, Ocio Pinot Noir 2019, Casablanca Valley. 94/100
- Viña Siegel, Ketran 2015, Colchagua Valley. 93/100
- Aldi, Paraíso Sur Syrah 2016. 93/100
- Viña la Rosa, Cuvée Don Reca 2018, Puemo. 92/100
- Agricola Teno Limitada, Invitis Limited Edition Cabernet Franc 2015. 92/100
- Constanza Schwaderer, Kimbao Merlot Gran Reserva 2018, Maule Valley. 92/100
- Viña Morande, Pionero Reserva Merlot 2020, Maule Valley. 92/100
- Top Wine Group S.A., Chono Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2020, Casablanca Valley. 91/100
- Chile di Vino, El Consentido Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Cachapoal Valley. 91/100
- Jean Pascal Lacaze, Lacaze Lubie 2018, Maipo Valley 91/100
- Sutil, Limited Release Syrah 2019, Limarí Valley. 91/100
- Viña Vistamar, Reserva Merlot 2020, Maule Valley. 91/100
- Viña Raggio, Zampoña Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2016. 91/100
- Viña Chocalan, Gran Reserva Origen Syrah 2019, Maipo Valley. 90/100
- Casas del Bosque, Gran Reserva Syrah 2019, Casablanca Valley. 90/100
- Ntuc Fairprice Co-operative, Just Wine Merlot 2020. 90/100
- Jean Pascal Lacaze, Lacaze Simetrico Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Maipo Valley. 90/100
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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