Sifting Through The Wines Of Chile

By Robert Parker

Once known mostly for chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, vintners in Chile are making interesting wines from pinot noir, sauvignon blanc, syrah, and even the indigenous grape carmenère. My colleague Jay Miller recently tasted nearly 700 Chilean wines and found 240 worthy ones. Here are a few of them.

Casa Silva 2005 Carmenère Los Lingues Estate

91 points. This cuvée is a steal. The purple wine delivers a superb aromatic array of blue and black fruits, cinnamon, mocha, and clove, and has enough structure so you can enjoy it now or any time over the next 10 to 12 years. $7

Cousiño-Macul 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Antiguas Reservas

90 points. The scents from this deeply colored cab are toast, spice box, cedar, and black currant. On the tongue, the wine is spicy and ripe, with very good depth and a long finish. This wine should evolve for several more years but is hard to resist drinking now. $9-$13

Cono Sur 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Vision

90 points. This bargain-priced cabernet has a first-class nose of black currants and blackberry, layers of ripe fruit, and three to five years of aging potential. $13

Montes 2006 Pinot Noir Limited Selection

88 points. One of the finest pinot noir values on the market, this wine features a lovely bouquet of strawberry, raspberry, and rhubarb. That's followed by a silky textured wine with ripe fruit and good acidity. Drink it now through 2017. $16

Santa Carolina 2006 Sauvignon Blanc Nimbus Estate Casablanca Winery

90 points. The splendid nose of minerals, fresh herbs, citrus, and lemon-lime jumps from the glass. This single-vineyard wine is crisp and refreshing with superior depth and concentration. You can enjoy it over the next 12 to 18 months. $17

Vina Chocalan 2004 Gran Reserva

91+ points. This Bordeaux-inspired blend offers a dramatic perfume of smoke, toast, leather, blueberry, and blackberry liqueur. This is followed by a fat, sweet, ripe wine with layers of spicy flavors. The ripe tannin indicates it should continue to evolve for another three to four years and drink well through 2027. $18

Concha y Toro 2005 Syrah Marques de Casa Concha

91+ points. Aged for 16 months in French oak, the wine offers up smoke, leather, game, and blueberry scents followed by a supple texture, ripeness, and complex layers. $19

Anakena 2005 Ona Syrah

89 points. This syrah delivers aromas of smoke and game along with blueberries and violets. There is a generous quantity of sweet fruit and a solid structure in the style of a well-made Crozes-Hermitage. Allow two to three years of bottle aging, and it should drink well through 2020. $20

Wines rated from 96-100 are extraordinary; 90-95, excellent; 80-89, above average to very good.

Corrections and Clarifications "Sifting through the wines of Chile" (Executive Life, Sept. 17) listed the wrong price for Casa Silva 2005 Carmenère Los Lingues Estate. The correct price is $17.

Robert Parker is the world's most influential wine critic. Visit to see tens of thousands of tasting notes, buy his books, or subscribe to his newsletter, The Wine Advocate.

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