Chilly Outside? How ‘Bout Chile Inside?

So Much Buzz About Chilean Pinot Noir

Yes the movie Sideways you would think would be out of our minds but the effect it had on the Pinot Noir Industry is still rising the popularity of the grape. I have already posted over and over in agreement  with great reviewers like Josh Reynolds that no one can produce a textbook Pinot Noir for the money like Oregon. Yet, I have been for many years hearing about the buzz of New Zealand and that died out and now Chile as the new contender. I also see on the domestic side not only Pinot Noir but Wineries and Winemakers are feeding what Americans Crave which is more and more sugar and bourbon barrels and adding white sweet grapes like Riesling to their Pinot and the sweeter it gets the sales go up. As you know, in America, any grape varietal only has to contain 75% quantity of the grape listed on the label. In Oregon and of course Burgundy, France you always get 100% Pinot Noir. Oregon and Burgundy share the same Geographical Latitude of 45 Degrees Parallel and similar climates perfect for this thin skinned variety that needs perfect conditions to produce an elegant wine. The Casablanca Valley is about 40 Km away from the capitol of Chile, Santiago but more importantly it is picking up that Pacific Ocean Breeze so it could be good for Pinot Noir. The only way I could know is take one out for a Test Drive. 

2015 Casas Del Bosque Pinot Noir, Casablanca Valley

Casa Front BottleCasa Rear Label

Casas Del Bosque is considered one of the most prestigious wineries in the Casablanca Valley. They use all artisan techniques and all estate grown fruit that is manually harvested ,so they are in full control of the finished product from start to end. When the grapes arrived to the winery, all were de-stemmed and crushed to open top tanks.The Must (Skins, Seeds and Stems) were warmed and inoculated with selected native yeasts and fermented for 10 days at 90 Degrees Fahrenheit. The vats were all hand punched twice daily to get the most extraction and color. After fermentation it was put to Barrel and aged for a total of 6 months in used French Oak and bottled with minimal filtration.. This all sounds ideal and James Suckling giving this wine a 92 point rating higher than any reviewer had me all juiced up to review the wine. Let’s see what we had!

The Review

Casa Glass and Bottle

 Casa Glass

I was slightly scared but learning not to let alcohol levels pre determine my opinion as many times I have had crazy high alcohol and yet the wine had structure and balance. 14.5% ABV on this vintage. Darker than a classic Pinot Noir should be in the glass but the transparency tells me it is 100% Pinot Noir without blending Syrah etc but yet a really dark ruby color. On the nose even in my Oregon Pinot Noir Glass.. Very difficult to get the fruits or the tertiary aromas since just like this new Bourbon Barrel Craze, and Popular Zins and Many High End Barossa Valley Australian wines the Wine was H=O=T HOT! It literally made me sneeze each time I took a whiff with 2 hours of breathing time and also on the second day of evaluation to get my nose to adjust to the High Alcohol Burn. I did get all Liquor type bouquet of macerated red cherrie, wild strawberry, raspberry, nutmeg, allspice from the Oak. On the Palate not MY personal style of Pinot Noir as I would borderline call this FULL- BODIED more what you would expect from a Shiraz or Red Zin than an elegant, finessed Pinot Noir. Flavors of very dark cherry and plums but borderline not fruity but Sweet with a Shot Of Fireball type Cinnamon and Savory Herbs on the finish. I think The Cinnamon burn lasted longer than Fireball at least 5 minutes after each sip. I agree with friends in the biz who say once a review says the wine is RICH– like these Bourbon Barrel Wines, That is code word for no structure and SWEET, … Clearly understand, I have 2 scores on this wine. One is as a Burgundy fan and Oregon Pinotphile and one is for the Masses and my regular guests who like this style of wine. My score for me is not 92 like Mr Suckling but an 83 which is what 98% Of the reviewers scored this as well except James. NOW…READ CAREFULLY.. if you are drinking any of the POPULAR , seen on every wine list Blended California Pinots and you know the BRANDS… in the $15-$20 range or more…Or you drink Red Zinfandels that are $29.99 and jammy and fruity or some of these Lower End Aussie Wines loaded with fake fake and more fake and lots of other grapes and manipulation …This wine I will recommend to you and score 91 Points ..

If You Are An Oregon Pinot Fan Or Burgundy Fan STOP READING HERE and go Back To The Oregon Section


If You are Drinking Popular Cali Pinots READ ON 

I do something that sets me apart from most Sommeliers. They can only recommend wines that THEY personally like and not what the Customer drinking the wine likes. Wine is personal. This 2015 Casas Del Bosque Pinot Noir was the everything I don’t like about the Popular Mass Produced Pinot Noirs  millions buy each year.  Yes this wine has 4.2 Grams of Residual Sugar which isn’t that bad but I would personally prefer 4.0 Grams LESS for my palate. I promise you if you just go to the supermarket or come see me at ABC and you don’t want any assistance picking out a Pinot Noir because you just look for your favorite brand no matter what year it is or not, and it isn’t even 100% Pinot Noir and it costs more than this… I think you will give me the biggest hug that I introduce you to this 2015 Chilean 100% Pinot Noir and this will be your new Go To Wine. Since it is  Chilly Outside even in Florida.. This CHILE will warm you right up on the first glass. A definite recommendation for the 100’s  of guests I see each week who like this style of wine. For you this could be a Life Changing Wine !

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