The differences between wines grown on opposites sides of the Andes – the most imposing and the most-influential mountain range in wine country anywhere, the Alps included – are always a fascinating topic to consider. Over a glass of wine, of course.
West Side vs. East Side, more-rain vs. less-rain, sea-level vs. mile-high, Cabernet-centric vs. Malbec-centric, evening sun vs. morning sun, Chile vs. Argentina…so much alike, yet so different.
Before we get too deep here, just to note that we have a couple of wines each from Chile and Argentina worthy of exploration, and offer continued conversation about where they come from and where they may be going.
2022 Root: 1 Casablanca Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($12) – Great value – complex and herbal with both fruity and vegetal flavors of grassiness.
2022 Lawson’s Dry Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($17) – Silky, but not very crisp, with green gooseberry and lime flavors.
2022 El Coto Rioja Blanco ($20) – Quite pleasant, with flavors of Asian pear, moderately full-bodied, good mouth-feel though a not-quite-crisp finish.
2021 Baia’s Wine Tsitska-Tsolikouri-Krakhuna Georgian White Wine ($25) – A delightful wine with flavors of tart stone fruits with an underlying taste of wood-like, savory notes.
2022 Craggy Range “Te Muna” Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc ($26) – This North Island appellation rivals that of the South Island’s Marlborough for Sauvignon, and this one has chalky, green herbal notes of sorrel in a lean structure.
2021 Dog Point Vineyard Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($28) – Classic Marlborough, with green flavors of lime and green gooseberries, crisp celery, and a crisp, tart finish.
2022 Château d’Aqueria Tavel ($20) – One of the original rosé appellations, this lovely wine is a mixture of strawberries and cherries, but with a lot of herbal notes – a pink better suited for enjoying with food.
2022 Domaines Ott “Château de Selle” Côtes de Provence Rosé ($60) – Very elegant – crisp and light ripe strawberry flavors, beautifully structured, with a hint of cream in the finish.
2022 Root: 1 Colchagua Valley Carmenère ($12) – Very fragrant with ripe but tart flavors of elderberry and cassis with good structure.
2022 Root: 1 Maipo Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($12) – Both bright and dark cherry flavors, smooth texture and some added green herbal flavors for complexity.
2019 Ventisquero “Vertice” Colchagua Valley Carmenère/Syrah ($38) – Fresh and lively with rich cherry flavors, medium weight and a long finish.
2017 Ventisquero “Obliqua” Colchagua Valley Carmenère ($55) – Complex flavors of elderberry and red raspberry, and a lot of enjoyable, raspy green notes that add savory components.
Prices listed are generally SRP or from wine-searcher.com. As more wineries are now shipping direct-to-consumer, check the winery website if you can’t find a bottle in your retail store.