Botalcura Nebbiolo 2009

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Our recent ‘find’, the on-line retailer Vin Cognito, came up trumps again on Friday night with an excellent Nebbiolo from Chile’s Maule Valley. Maule is Chile’s oldest wine region, well south of the capital Santiago, and with three times the rainfall but with the same dry summers. They have used the classic northern Italian grape variety, famous for brooding – and occasionally forbidding – Barolos and produced an approachable, high quality wine that had us reaching for another sip.

The bright red colour with no hint of either purple or brown suggested a wine in mid-life whilst the slightly oaked nose did not mask the fresh, cherry notes, slightly floral with and with tempting acidity. The palate was weighty and rich, of medium length and rich in fresh red fruits. There was a beguiling tangy quality, redolent of many Italian red wines, but without the tannins which can be off-putting. It was not overly long but the depth of flavour compensated.

This was a very well-made wine, serious but not overly so and, judging by the responses on the Vin Cognito web-site, very attractive.

[Richard: – very good and instantly appealing wine, spoilt only by a faint hint of woody cork on the nose. This failed to dissipate over time, as it sometimes does. The aromatic nose did compensate though. At £22 just about worth it and a wine I’d buy again. Geoff is far to modest to say but he identified the grape with no clues from me.]

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