RKS 2023 Wine: Carolina Gran Reserva Chardonnay from Chile; Chernobyl Meltdown!

Red wines from Chile predominate on the shelves of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. White wines from Chile are in the shadows. You are more likely to see Chardonnay as the most prominent Chilean white. Chilean whites continue to disappoint in 2023.

So let’s try the 2020 Santa Carolina Gran Reserva Chardonnay.

Aromatics: Pear, apple, honey, guava and a bit of pineapple. Aged in 15% French new oak but despite the new oak it is laid back but not absent as far as the wood goes.

Palate: You might initially contemplate a laid-back palate. But be a bit patient and note it has a slight aggressive nature on the back palate. Yes it has a bit of a bite and a bit of white pepper. Unfortunately the palate it somewhat fruit deficient. The oak here is French and is more apparent on the palate than on the nose.

Personality: Yes I have a “Gran Reserva” in my name but honestly speaking I am far from Grand. I have that typical eau de Chardonnay scent but my guts are far from Coco Chanel. I am a Twiggy on the palate.

Cellarbility: Nada. Zip. None.

Food match: Fried smelt with a twist of lemon.

In a nutshell: A start with decent Chardonnay aromatics but on the palate a Chernobyl meltdown.

Price: $19.95.

RKS 2023 Wine Rating: 80/100. Joaquín Hidalgo 90.

Santa Carolina 2019 Gran Reserva Chardonnay, D.O. Valle de Iata, Viña Santa Carolina, Santiago, Chile, 750 mL, 14%.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food ,drink, travel, film, and lifestyle issues. He also has published serialized novels "Life at Megacorp", "Virus # 26, "Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog" and "The Penniless Pensioner" Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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