2018 was a fantastic vintage in Chile, where winemakers were blessed with both quantity and great quality – all good news, if you’re seeking out delicious wines of character for a reasonable price. And really, who doesn’t want that?
Chile often (and unfairly) takes a backseat to Argentina, but our expert Beth is out to change all that with wines like Santa Magdalena, from the third-generation Balduzzi family and the premium Maule Valley.
Santa Magdalena showcases Chile’s flagship grape, Carménère, which was brought over by immigrants from Bordeaux. (For many years, it was actually confused with another Bordeaux star, Merlot.) The French ex-pat thrives in the Maule Valley’s winemaking paradise, which is protected from the elements on all sides by desert, mountains, the ocean, and Antarctica. In fact, the cool nights, warm days, and pristine soils here yield some of the finest Carménère around. And you’ll get to taste for yourself …
Left unoaked to preserve its signature character, it offers up juicy strawberry flavors, plus hints of spicy pepper and dark chocolate. Silky and also well structured, it’ll shine with a variety of dishes – we love it with savory, flame-grilled meats like lamb chops. Lentil purées or stews would be ideal for vegetarians.