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2010 Viña Leyda Single Vineyard Kadun Sauvignon Gris

Your first reaction is probably “what the hell is Sauvignon Gris?” Think of it as a good, cool climate Sauvignon Blanc (in its citrusy, tropical, and herbal aromatics) meets a good, cool climate Chardonnay (in its creamy structure and full body), with a lemon-rind finish thrown in for good measure. The cooling breezes from the Pacific Ocean help this wine to retain its vibrant, acidic verve while still appealing to the Chardonnay lovers out there. Savuignon Gris might just be poised as the next “breakout” variety from South America.
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2009 Veramonte Pinot Noir Ritual

This rather large-bodied Pinot Noir has a label that says 14% alcohol, but a nose and sensation on the eyes that say 14.9%. It also shows cherries, dried strawberries, and sage. On the palate cherries and raspberries meet plenty of wood effects including vanilla, toast, and cinnamon. It also shows sage, marjoram, and a tiny hit of cayenne pepper. Tannins are big and a little dusty. Acids are a bit low compared to tannins and wood. The finish has some length, but ends up with an overwhelming sensation of new barrels. The glass half-full crowd would call this "a Pinot for people who don't like Pinot." The glass half-empty crowd would describe it as "a spoofilated Pinot wearing a Cali-Cab costume for Halloween." Drink it with fun-sized snickers and candy corn. Not recommended.
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2009 Viña Casablanca Nimbus Estate Single Vineyard Pinot Noir

An interesting wine, an eye-opener for Chile's potential with pinot noir. This is big and sweet, more Russian River than Côte d'Or. A melange of red fruits—cherry, cranberry, and strawberry—are joined by marjoram, sage, a touch of charcoal, and the tiniest hint of cayenne pepper. The mouth feel is silky and rich, the tannins sweet, smooth, and just slightly dusty, with a good acid counter-balance. Drink with Cuban roast pork. Highly recommended.
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2009 Viña Casablanca Nimbus Estate Single Vineyard Pinot Noir

An interesting wine, an eye-opener for Chile's potential with pinot noir. This is big and sweet, more Russian River than Côte d'Or. A melange of red fruits—cherry, cranberry, and strawberry—are joined by marjoram, sage, a touch of charcoal, and the tiniest hint of cayenne pepper. The mouth feel is silky and rich, the tannins sweet, smooth, and just slightly dusty, with a good acid counter-balance. Drink with Cuban roast pork. Highly recommended.
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2005 Miguel Torres Santa Digna Sauvignon Blanc “Selection”

Found this 2005 forgotten in the basement and brought it up for dinner tonight. What a great surprise! It was a bit warm but I twisted open the screwcap and sweet grass and herbs wafted out. The aromas persisted upon pouring: more sweet meadow herbs, a bit of limestone. On the palate, plenty of body, great balance, but the finish was a bit on the short side. Reminiscent of a very good white Bordeaux, with an appealing strain of chalkiness running through it. Highly recommended.
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2005 Miguel Torres Santa Digna Sauvignon Blanc “Selection”

Found this 2005 forgotten in the basement and brought it up for dinner tonight. What a great surprise! It was a bit warm but I twisted open the screwcap and sweet grass and herbs wafted out. The aromas persisted upon pouring: more sweet meadow herbs, a bit of limestone. On the palate, plenty of body, great balance, but the finish was a bit on the short side. Reminiscent of a very good white Bordeaux, with an appealing strain of chalkiness running through it. Highly recommended.