Wine Tasting: South America Showdown

Posted in Hollywood Vine Events, Uncategorized by HVINE ADMIN on August 30, 2009


Tuesday September 8th, 2009
6:00-9:00 pm

South America Showdown : Chile vs. Argentina

No charge for tastings

Montes “Leyda Vineyard” Sauvignon Blanc 2008 San Antonio, Chile
A very crisp and minerally style, with a chalky edge that carries the flint, chive and fleur de sel notes. Wine Spectator 90!
BTG $5.75 Retail $14.99

Catena “Tupungato” Chardonnay 2008 Mendoza, Argentina
Ripe and focused, with tasty pear, dried pineapple and grilled hazelnut notes, followed by a juicy finish. Wine Spectator 88
BTG $6.00 Retail $15.99

Santa Ema “Reserve” Merlot 2006 Maipo, Chile
Broad and velvety, with a nice polish to the mint, cocoa, plum and braised fig flavors. Full-bodied. Tasty. Wine Spectator 88
BTG $4.00 Retail $9.99

Colome Malbec 2007 Salta, Argentina
Quite ripe, with nearly exotic plum sauce, braised fig and crushed blueberry notes rolled together, while spice, mocha and incense hints stretch out the juicy, dense finish. A flashy style, but well-balanced. Wine Spectator 92 points! “Smart Buy”
BTG $7.00 Retail $18.99

Vina Palo Alto Cabernet Blend 2007 Maule, Chile
Robust, almost brawny in style, with a hefty layer of coffee and bacony toast fronting dark plum and currant fruit. Tobacco and loam notes frame the muscular finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère and Syrah. Wine Spectator 89 points “Best Value”
BTG $5.00 Retail $12.99

South America Showdown : Chile vs. Argentina

There is simply no debating it anymore. South America is the “heavyweight champion” of high quality, value wines being imported into the U.S. So much so that we’d venture to guess that the majority of you out there who’ve started your wine “love affair” in the last 5 to 10 years, have done so at the behest of a deliciously ripe, full bodied wine from the Southern Hemisphere, be it an Argentine Malbec, Chilean Cab or Australian Shiraz.

The Latin American presence here in South Florida has bolstered the popularity of South American wine even further, as we are perhaps the largest market in the world for their export. As consumers, we are continually bombarded with the exponentially expanding series of brands arriving on the shelves of our supermarkets, fine retailers and restaurants. So how does one decide? What is the difference between Chile and Argentina?

The origins of both countries can be traced back to Spain through the travels and exploits of conquistadors, but the truth is that the neighboring nations have been more vastly influenced by French viticulture. Yet despite their proximity and shared influence, each has taken a different path in terms of grapes successfully planted and typicity of style. Chile has staked its claim on a burly, frequently muscular style of Cabernet and Syrah, whereas Argentina’s proclivity for all things Italian has dictated a more elegant, supple style in their choice of grape, the inky-hued Malbec.

This week at Hollywood Vine we’ll pit strength against strength and let you guys decide who is “numero uno” of the coveted under $20 category. Aurelio Montes has a great reputation for making many of Chile’s greatest reds, but it’s his Sauvignon Blanc that captured our attention this week. The Montes “Leyda Vineyard” Sauvignon will present an early challenge. Argentina will rebut with one of the most consistent Chardonnays in the world today, made by perhaps it’s most famous winery, Catena’s “Tupungato” Chardonnay is a real crowd pleaser. Chilean Merlot frequently has a bittersweet “chocolateyness” to it but Santa Ema’s Reserve Merlot is pure white chocolate, soft and silky. “Colome” is a very successful project in Argentina by the Napa Valley’s Hess Winery, 92 points @ $18.99? Let’s see what all the fuss is about. Then we’ll finish with an “eclectic” red blend of Chile’s best varietals.