From the Wine Cellar: 11 Budget-Friendly Wines From Chile
You don’t have to bring out your fine crystal for these wines, but they are affordable and are mostly respectable table companions. The reds are more savory than fruity, more lean than luscious, so you will probably enjoy them more with food than just sipping by themselves.
2012 DeMartino Maipo Valley sauvignon blanc ($14). Creamy citrus flavors with medium body — well-balanced, neither very green nor very crisp in finish.
2011 DeMartino Maipo Valley cabernet sauvignon ($14). Good structure and very much on the savory side with slightly tart cherries, a hint of gaminess, and lots of forest floor. Takeaway: Like a bitters-based aperitif.
2011 DeMartino Maipo Valley carminere ($14). A mellow wine with soft red raspberry/mulberry fruit, but yet with good structure.
2010 DeMartino Maipo Valley "Legado" reserva ($18). An equal split between cabernet sauvignon and malbec, the wine is a little too subtle, although the cherry/berry flavors are interesting. Takeaway: Needs a little more "oomph."
2012 Queulat Leyda Valley gran reserve sauvignon blanc ($18). Flavors of green fruits, full-bodied, juicy, hints of carbon, a few sherry notes in the finish. Takeway: The floral side of sauvignon.
2012 Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Chile sauvignon blanc ($12). The creamy side of sauvignon with gooseberry flavors, moderate body and good, but not super-crisp, acidity.
2012 Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Chile chardonnay ($12). Juicy, sweet, a little spicy. Some mellow apple flavors, but otherwise doesn’t have distinctive chardonnay varietal characteristics.
2011 Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Chile merlot ($12). Light body, good flavors but not much depth. Muted cherries with a tobacco-y finish.
2011 Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Chile carmenere ($12). Lots of dried herbs in the finish. More savory than fruity, with dark but not overly ripe cherries. Light-bodied with modest tannins.
2011 Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Chile cabernet sauvignon ($12). A very average cab, somewhat thin, very savory with sullen dark raspberry fruit.
2012 Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Chile pinot noir ($12). A little gamey, a little floral a little spicy and a lot lean and minerally. Takeaway: More a food wine than a sipper.