Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Syrah to Celebrate Chile's World Cup Quest

Finally a World Cup match where both of the countries playing produce wine that's readily available in the Vancouver market. Indeed, with the Chile vs. Australia match, we had a healthy selection of wines, from either country, to choose from. Both countries are known for their Shiraz/Syrah wines and we just happened to have a couple on hand.

Chile won the game by a 3-1 score. So, I grabbed a Syrah from the Aconcagua Valley, just north of Santiago.

1631.  2008 Errazuriz - Single Vineyard Don Maximiano Estate Syrah (Aconcagua Valley - Chile)

The final score isn't all that surprising. Chile was supposed to win on the soccer pitch. I think, as a Syrah/Shiraz producer, however, the result still might have favoured Australia - but then, I've been partial to Aussie Shiraz ever since it started making it to our shores and long before [yellow tail] kind of changed the whole landscape for Aussie wine. But that's for another day. Chile is putting a lot of effort into into making a name for its Syrah and, with wines like this one, they may well start to challenge the Aussies.

Errazuriz, of course, is one of the biggest players in Chile and they cover the gamut from basic entry level, value wines to icon wines that can rival the best wines from any region. This Syrah is one from the middle ground and, being a single vineyard, varietal wine from the home vineyard, it's meant to showcase a particular aspect of what Errazuriz has to offer.

We thought the ripe, dark fruit and structure showed through nicely and it was a pleasant reminder of the grand tour that Boo and I had at Errazuriz when we spent our one full day in Chile (while en route to Argentina from Peru) touring the Aconcagua Valley (blog post from back then). The Don Maximiano vineyard was stunning with plenty of stories to be discovered given its over 130 years history.

Opening this bottle prompted me to take a quick look back at some of our photos from our visit there. Two memories immediately popped into mind: 1) we didn't have nearly enough time to take in everything that Errazuriz had to offer (and we were a half hour longer than our tour had planned) and 2) I was enthralled with the wide array of cacti that were interspersed among the vines. I can't recall having seen that anywhere else.

So, a nice Chilean Syrah to add to The List and a great start for the Chileans' World Cup quest with a big win on the soccer pitch.

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