Chile has two strengths as a wine producing country: weather and affordability.
The weather is basically more temperate than many countries to the north, so the growing season is long which allows for ripening.
Along with that, the dreaded vine diseases called phylloxera has never been able to cross the Andes nor sail the ocean so it does not create the problems in Chile as it has found in Europe and California. Marry that up with inexpensive land, Chile has experienced rapid growth in grape production to the point it competitive on a world stage.
A wine that makes this point is the 2012 Albamar Sauvignon Blanc, an estate-bottled gem from William Cole Vineyards in the Casablanca Valley. The Albamar, which translates to “fog and sea,” is a bone-dry, citrus-scented crisp white with freshness and verve that should make summer more enoyable.
The finish is zesty and dances all over the palate. It is a beautiful drinking wine at $10 a bottle. Your local wine person can source it from Cutting Edge in Cincinnati.
Roger Gentile is the owner of Gentile’s, the Wine Sellers – www.gentiles.com – and the author of two books on wine.