Chile has a lot of things going for it as a wine region: a range of climates, both north to south and east to west; a lack of pollution; irrigation; and no phylloxera louse. The Aconcagua region is NW of Santiago; this wine being made from vines grown on sand just 7km from the cool coast. It obviously suits the Pinot Noir, a fussy vine at the best of times. The Clos des Fous, Pucalan Arenaria, cost £21 from the Wine Soc. and is another of Richard’s finds. The wine had been opened for 2 hours before tasting.
The rim colour was heading to brick-red but still intense in its depth. The nose was of bramble fruit rather than the red fruits typical of, say, an NZ Pinot but it had more subtlety. The palate showed tannins which lent the wine a structure, offset by the slight berry sweetness – yet it dried nicely at the finish. It had an attractive tangy quality.
The alcohol is a strapping 14.5% but the wine wears it lightly. A step up from the usual Chilean Pinot offerings and there is no bicycle on the label! Good with duck, mushroom dishes, ham – lovely.
[Richard: can’t claim much credit for this as it was well reviewed on the WS site by another member. Geoff identified grape and continent without much trouble. Excellent, pure pinot, more spicy than a burgundy, which lost some of its varietal character as the evening progressed.]