There are more Chilean red wines than white in the Ontario market and most overperform other Non-Chilean reds at the same price point. But don’t forget the white wines.
We try a Casas del Bosque 2021 La Cantera Sauvignon Blanc from Valle de Casablanca. That’s right, “Play it again Sam.”
You won’t find Humphrey Bogart or Claude Rains in the Chilean Casablanca Valley. But you will find Chile’s premier cool climate wine region known for its gentle Pacific breezes, early morning fog and old granitic-clay soils that create a rich tapestry of terroirs and make it one of Chile’s top white producers. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are often seen as the stars of the Casablanca Valley but on occasion I have had some top-notch Gewurztraminer.
Aromatics: This Sauvignon Blanc is very much in the style you might expect from a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. No nonsense aromatics of white grapefruit, guava, papaya and a bit of quince.
Palate: There is some zip and twang with well integrated acidity. Also cedar, mango, lime and ginger with a short finish.
Food Match: Fogo Island cod
sunchoke velouté, brown butter, celeriac
heirloom squash risotto
saffron, sage, Parmesan Reggiano, preserved lemon.
Personality: I am not trying to be a clone of my Sauvignon Blanc brothers and sisters in New Zealand but it rather looks that way as aromatics go. I tend to wander a bit on the palate not sure where I should go.
Price: $19.95 (Ontario).
Cellaring: Drink in 2023.
In a nutshell: No wannabe New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc but struggling to establish a Chilean personality.
RKS 2023 Wine Rating: 87/100.
(Casas del Bosque La Cantera Botanic Series Sauvignon Blanc 2021, Valle de Casablanca, Casas del Bosque, Casablanca Valley, Chile, 750 mL, 13.5%)