I think one of the world’s most consistent values are the sauvignon blancs of Chile. To be sure, these wines do not have the margarita-style characteristics of New Zealand, nor the earth and mineral notes of the Loire Valley.
But when one wants a crisp, lean and striking “SB,” Chile is a great target that offers some tremendous drinking value.
My go-to Chilean sauvignon blanc for daily drinking is the 2011 LaPlaya Sauvignon Blanc from the central Chilean region of Colchagua. This unoaked, stainless steel-kissed white offers prominent minerality. Common to this type of wine, it features tantalizing aromas of fresh-cut grass, grapefruit and honeydew. Indeed, citrus accents guide the snappy and vibrant flavors on the palate.
An odd thing about the La Playa winery is that the winemaker in one of those “flying winemakers” who scurries around the globe to make wines in other regions. In this case, it’s Scott Peterson of California's Sonoma Valley’s S.P. Drummer winery.
Peterson has worked at Iron Horse, Chateau St. Jean and Kendall Jackson, so he knows what he’s doing with quality sauvignon blanc. Here, he has made one that sells for less than $10 a bottle. If your favorite place doesn’t have it, contact Wine Trends wine distributors.
Roger Gentile is the owner of Gentile’s, the Wine Sellers – www.gentiles.com – and the author of two books on wine.