Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Novas - Playhouse Preview

The 2012 Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival is under way - and the big Festival Tasting Room evenings are just around the corner. This year's theme region is Chile and they're expecting 36 different Chilean wineries to pour a selection of wines in the big room - many of which aren't normally in our market. As such, I thought I'd get a bit of a head start and try one of the few Chilean wines that we have hanging around.

Despite the fact that Boo and I spent a whole 40 or so hours in Chile, I can't say as I know much about Chilean wines. On top of getting the chance to discover some new wineries, I'm really looking forward to sampling some wines from the higher end of the spectrum. For the most part, the South American nation's presence in the Vancouver market is largely predicated on decent bang for buck, entry level wines. I'm guessing that we're going to be exposed to a different side of Chile.

1073. 2006 Emiliana - Novas - Winemaker's Selection Syrah (Casablanca Valley - Chile)

Emiliana is the first Chilean winery, that I know, that has really really promoted itself as a leader in organic and biodynamic agriculture and wine production. Their website even has a neat, little interactive diagram that attempts to show how the various components of organic and biodynamic are integrated into the winery, vineyards and surrounding farm.

Although, as stated, I'm no expert on Chile, I was a little surprised to see that this wine hails from the Casablanca Valley. We are starting to see more and more Chilean Syrah on local shelves; however, I think it's mostly produced in the warmer growing regions. What little I know of the Casablanca Valley is that it's primarily coastal and considered cooler climate - at least as far as Chile goes. As such, it's mostly known for its whites. Indeed, even though the Casablanca Valley was a bit closer to Santiago, Boo and I chose to visit the Aconcaugua Valley - during our one free day to tour Chile - because it was known for reds and we didn't see any real touristic references to red wine in Casablanca.

That might be why this wine wasn't as boisterous as I'd expected it to be. Tannins were a lot softer and the wine seemed a bit reserved. I'd had some Emiliana wines previously and they struck me as being much bolder. Not sure if I like this tamer side as much. Guess I'll have a better idea at the end of the weekend as I hope to take a full tour of Chile over the next couple of days.

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