Chile Rising: 2018 Tarapaca Gran Reserva Valle Del Maipo 92 Points

In the days and weeks ahead, we're going to be covering a lot of Chilean wines. Why? A number of reasons:
  • Historically, much of the Chilean wine arriving in the US market has been at the value end of the spectrum. That's changing.
  • While Chile's lower-priced wines, reds in particular, have offered far more QPR than similarly-priced wines from the US, spending a little more gets you an outsized jump in uniqueness and quality.
  • Chile has not been subjected to the same tariffs as European producers have, which, combined with the continued rise in domestic wine prices, has created a perfect confluence of 
  • Chile's focus on sustainability means an increasing number of their wines are made with organic grapes. If you aren't yet on board with planetary kindness, just enjoy how organic practices translate into more expressive, honest wines.
This first in a batch of samples is a terrific example of these reasons.

2018 Tarapaca Gran Reserva Valle Del Maipo $20
Oh, boy, this is a real treat. A serious red wine capable of aging, but enjoyable now, this Chilean blend falls in the savory camp. Medium to heavy bodied, the nose has layers of tar, tobacco, and black fruit framed by pepper, anise, and pyrazines. The texture is soft and supple, but carries a tannic heft with grace. Everything previewed by the aromatics comes true in the mouth, but delivered in a super-friendly manner. This wine is yet more evidence that South America represents a serious alternative to quality California wine at a fraction of the price. 92 Points (Sample)