Josh Greene of Wine & Spirits Magazine and Mariana Martinez, editor of planetavino.com, worked together to create the Wines of the Pacific tasting event in November, the results of which were just published in Wine & Spirits’ February issue. The idea of the event was based on the annual Wines of the Andes competition in Argentina, where tasters assess the state of the mountain wines from both sides of the Andes. Rather than mountain wines, the Wines of the Pacific featured wines grown along the Pacific coast. The blind tasting was held at Vina Indomita in Chile’s Casablanca Valley and included four flights by variety of Chilean and California wines, with no indication of origin or vintage, and a group of top American and Chilean press and trade. Greene and Martinez found that the influence of the Pacific had a strong imprint on the wines, whether Chilean or Californian. Each panelist ranked the top three and the totals were tallied, concluding in the selection of the three favorites in each category: sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot noir, and syrah.
Impressively, the Errazuriz 2010 Aconcagua Wild Ferment Chardonnay made the top three. The panelists’ notes states: “Its high intensity tropical fruit and floral notes are tied to a sense of cold weather conditions by its vertical structure. Oak adds toffee and vanilla notes but doesn’t impinge on the clean fruit.”
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