Right now, south of the equator, the grapevines are getting green, berries are forming, and the crop that will constitute the 2016 vintage is already developing its own personality.
As that is happening, here is a sampling of mainly Southern Hemisphere wines, mainly from Chile, and mainly from the large and historic Concha y Toro winery, although we do have a couple of other countries represented.
A toast to the coming of summer down under.
Craggy Range “Sophia” Gimblett Gravels Red Wine 2013, $65
A Bordeaux blend that is warm and generous with dark fruits, coffee, bacon, and other savory notes. The dilemma is to drink now or save for later.
Concha y Toro “Serie Riberas” Colchaugua Valley Sauvignon Blanc gran reserva 2014, $17
Very grassy with a lot of lime accents — ‘nough said.
Concha y Toro Terrunyo “Peumo Vineyard Block 27” Cachapoal Valley carmenere 2012, $38
Does any other winery have as many words in their label names as CyT? Probably not. That aside, this is a quite enjoyable, multi-layered wine, rich, and creamy, with flavors of ripe blackberries, toasted nuts, and dark chocolate.
Concha y Toro “Marques de Casa Concha” Peumo carmenere, 2012, $21
A bit harsh and rough, yet with some rich cherry flavors to go along with the tart green notes.
Concha y Toro “Casillero del Diablo” Carmenere Reserve, 2013, $9
A lot of green-stem notes among the creamy fruit, but still enjoyable.
Concha y Toro Marchigne “Serie Riberas” Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserve, 2013, $15
Creamy blueberry tastes with some green notes, dusty tannins, and a long finish.
Concha y Toro “Casillero del Diablo” Chile Cabernet Sauvignon Riserva, 2014, $9
Again, some green notes with dark brown sugar to go along with the creamy cherries.
Concha y Toro “Casillero del Diablo” Chile malbec riserva, 2013, $9
Not a structured wine, but one with flavors of dark cherries, unsweetened chocolate, some barrel notes, and some herbal notes in the finish.
Los Vascos Colchagua Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Grande Reserve, 2013 $17
The wine has good fruit flavors of cherries and blackberries, but also some weedy notes that some people will like and some not.
Los Vascos Colchagua Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, $9
Mix of blueberry and blackberry flavors with hints of green herbs and savory notes; medium body, somewhat tight still, with good acidity.
Remhoogte Stellenbosch “Bush Wine” Pinotage 2013, $18
Definitely a savory wine, tight, and crisp with lots of acidity and dried-herbs flavors.