Thursday, June 2, 2011

Castillo de Molina Sauvignon Blanc "Reserva" 2009

Elqui Valley, Chile (wine review and rating)

Castillo de Molina Sauvignon Blanc "Reserva" 2009

Origin: Elqui Valley, Chile
Blend: Sauvignon Blanc (100%)
Alcohol Content: 13.0%
Bottle Closure: Screw Cap
Purchase Date: May 2011
Purchase Price: $7.99 (750ml bottle)

Our review: Light gold with green highlights, this wine has pleasing aromas of gooseberry and citrus with notes of herbs and a hint of lemongrass. There's a nice citrus balance in the fruit flavors on the palate, not overly tart or acidic. The finish is relatively brief adding a touch of minerality.

Our rating: This is a delicious wine, another prime example of how Chilean wines typically strike a good balance in crafting this varietal, between the aggressive New Zealand style and the generally rather muddled and often cringe-worthy California "fume" style. (To be fair, many recent California Sauvignon Blancs aren't oaked any more.) We intended to serve our bottle with broiled white fish, but confess it was gone long before the main course hit the table. Still, we think it relatively food friendly, though probably best suited to accompany fish and shellfish. We rate it just shy of Excellent, and at just $8, an incredible value.

Taste profile from the winemaker: Color: pale yellow, with green shades, almost transparent, clean and bright. Aroma: marked by its freshness and intensity, with present citric fruits, such as grapefruit, and citric fruit’s rind, interlaced with notes to green chili, boxwood and mineral touches to gunpowder and sea salt. Palate: a vibrant wine, fresh, fruity and with very pronounced acidity and minerality. It stands out for its identity and freshness. Its notable volume leads to a long and persistent finish.

Winery website: ViƱa San Pedro.

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