04 March 2011

Veramonte Wines

The Chilean winery Veramonte was built by Augustin Huneeus starting in 1990, with the first wines released in 1996. Huneeus is a legend of the Chilean wine industry, having built Concha y Toro up as the country's largest producer during the 1960s. Veramonte was an opportunity to take advantage of the Casablanca Valley, which had mostly been ignored as a wine region.

There are five wines in the widely available Reserva series. In addition to the Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir shown here, they offer a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Chardonnay, a Merlot, and a Syrah Rosé.

2010 Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc Reserva
Casablanca Valley, Chile
$12, 13.5% abv.
Heavy grapefruit pith aroma and flavor. Some stone and lime curd flavors. Bitter and tart, like lemonade that's low on sugar, though the acidity isn't as strong at colder temperatures. I found myself craving something like fried chicken--something savory and a little greasy to balance out against the citrus.

2009 Veramonte Pinot Noir Reserva
Casablanca Valley, Chile
$14, 14% abv.
Cherry, heavy tannins, tart raspberry flavors. Chilean Pinot Noir is still a relatively new endeavor, and various producers are still experimenting with different regions and methods to develop a style. It's not Oregon or Burgundy, and the ones I've tried so far remind me more of the entry-level Pinot Noirs from New Zealand. I liked this one far more than prior Chilean Pinot Noirs I've tried, though the bottle itself is still young and needs some time to smooth out. Tasted great with a grilled burger topped with blue cheese.

2008 Cruz Andina Malbec
85% Malbec, 8% Syrah, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon
Mendoza, Argentina
$20, $14.5% abv.
This was a little surprise--Vermonte in Argentina? It's a partnership that was developed recently. A mild and pleasant Malbec, with plum and chocolate flavors. More distinguished and balanced than a lot of the $10 Malbecs, and worth the higher price. Since this has a subtle flavor profile, it's could work well with something like veal or sweetbreads.

Note: These wines were received as samples.


wino_yes said...

I tried the Sauvignon Blanc recently. It was fizzy and beer-like. Refermented? I didn't care for it one bit.

Benito said...

Wino Yes,

Might have been a flawed bottle--I didn't have any bubbles in my sample and that's generally something I notice right away.


brenda said...

you really believe the bottle could be the issue? i was going to say maybe it store a little too cool