Wines of Chile celebrates ‘amazing’ blind tasting results

Trade organisation Wines of Chile has called the results of its sommelier challenge an “amazing accomplishment” after Chilean wine came out on top in its blind tasting held in London.

Held at London’s 67 Pall Mall on Monday (21 January), the Wines of Chile Sommelier Challenge was aimed at demonstrating the premium credentials of the country’s wines as well as their “freshness, quality, variety, diversity and elegance”, according to UK director of WoC, Anita Jackson.

51 wines were tasted blind, 46 of which hailed from Chile while five wines were chosen from other countries around the world. Members of the wine trade including sommeliers, buyers and writers then voted for their top five vines.

The results revealed that the top 10 wines voted for by those who attended were all Chilean, which the trade association called an “amazing accomplishment”.

Siegel Unique Selection 2012 (45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Carmenere, 20% Syrah) came out on top with 43.9% of people putting it in their top five.

This was followed by Errázuriz Aconcagua Costa Chardonnay 2016, Siegel Special Reserve Viognier 2017, Siegel Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Aresti Trisquel Series Altitud Merlot 2016, Casa Silva Ranco Riesling 2017, Siegel Single Vineyard Carmenere 2016, VIK Milla Cala 2014 (50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Carmenere, 10% Syrah, 2.5% Merlot, 2.5% Cabernet Franc); Aresti Family Collection 2014 (50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 12% Syrah, 10% Petite Syrah, 8% Petit Verdot) and Valdivieso Caballo Loco No 17 (a blend of 10 varieties in unknown quantities which change every year.)

The top non-Chilean wine, which came in 12th place, was the McManis Family Viognier 2016 from Lodi, California. The Chilean wines tasted ranged in retail prices from £11.99 to £35 a bottle whereas the non-Chilean wines ranged from £9.75 to £16 a bottle.

Speaking to db, Jackson added: “The idea behind the sommelier challenge is to demonstrate to people, particularly sommeliers, that Chile can produce many different styles of wine. Sommeliers love a blind tasting and this is a great way to attract individuals from high-end establishments – we’ve had members of the Fat Duck team and someone come down from Restaurant Martin Wishart in Edinburgh today.

“We’ve been promoting Chile’s premium credentials through targeted campaigns over the last four years, and this forms part of our efforts to offer an education programme to demonstrate the country’s diversity”.

Wines of Chile hopes to host a similar event later on this year.

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