Sunday, October 30, 2011

Anakena Ona

I suppose we don't really drink a whole lot of Chilean wines around here - and those that we do are usually one of the many "bargain" wines that have become rather prominent in the Vancouver market. I can't say that I have many premium wines from Chile waiting to be plucked our wine rack.

Admittedly, there are a few that we picked up last Fall when Boo and I stopped briefly in Santiago on our way to Argentina, but we're trying to let those age for a bit.

This all might change next Spring when the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival is going to feature Chile in its regional spotlight, but that's still months away. In the meantime, we've had tonight's bottle waiting around for a little bit and it looked like a good choice for the evening.

966. 2005 Anakena Ona Syrah (Rapel Valley - Chile)

Anakena is a label that I don't know a whole lot about but I picked up this bottle when it was prominently displayed at Everything Wine a ways back. At $26, the price is a step above most of the Chilean wines on local shelves, but I think it's still entirely reasonable for a wine that's supposed to be from one of the most lauded producers in the country.

The winery was only established in 1999; however, it appears to have tried to bypass the bulk wine market and move directly into a more premium mode - and it quickly expanded to the point that it was producing 400,000 cases a decade later. The Ona label is supposed to be the winery's top label series and it is named after the indigenous inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego, the island situated at the southernmost tip of South America. I'm fairly sure they don't actually grow any grapes (at least not for making wine) that far South and, indeed, the grapes used for this wine are grown in the Rapel Valley, one of Chile's best known growing regions.

Our market is starting to see more and more Syrah and Shiraz coming from Chile, but it still isn't as common as the Cab Sauv or Carmenère that our market was first introduced to. The wine was definitely more refined than the regular Chilean bargains, but there's no doubt that higher end Chilean wines are starting to make there presence known in Vancouver. I think I'll wait until I can do a more comprehensive comparison at the Wine Festival before I decide if the bottle is worth the extra bucks.

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