Tasting Note: Viña Chocalán Gran Reserva Blend 2004, Maipo Valley

Although I am most often weary of the “big” wines, I do enjoy ripe fruit and bold flavors just as much as the next guy. As long as the ripe fruit doesn’t jam the glass, if you see what I mean, and as long as other elements give it structure and balance.

Case in point: Viña Chocalán‘s 2004 Gran Reserva Blend, which was an accessibly-priced addition to a 2007 edition of the Courrier Vinicole, a mail-order catalogue by the Société des alcools du Québec, our very own wine and spirits state monopoly. At 22$, it seemed like a safe buy, and proved to be more than that.

When they say this Gran Reserva is a blend, the folks at this young and ambitious estate (more…)

Vinho Verde by the Pool

Had a lovely pool party at one of my best friends’ house, last weekend. Lots of swimming, lots of sun, great barbecue (scrumptious filet mignon) and, of course, some wine. I’d brought a bottle of Hurluberlu, a nice, fresh cabernet franc made by natural wine producer Sébastien David in the Saint-Nicolas de Bourgueil appellation: it’s such an easy-drinking, delicious summer wine with bright fruit and a lovely cherry-red color (visible through the transparent glass bottle) that it didn’t last long in the bottle. I took a glass, walked away from the table for fifteen minutes, and the rest was gone in a flash.

Thankfully, my friends had more wine in store, including (more…)