Versatile and interesting South American wine from Brian Sullivan

Take you pick of a rose, white or red wine.

Giants of the Andes

 

 

This clutch of my favourites, says Brian Sullivan of Adnams, shows how versatile and interesting South America can get.

If the mountain chain of the Andes is the backbone of the Andes then sitting their backs to either side are the two powerhouse nations of South American wine production, Chile and Argentina. Facing the Pacific, Chile is a long thin country whose soil and climate could not be more perfect for growing grapes.

Many well known varieties flourish here but the one that they have made their own is the discarded Bordeaux variety of Carmen�re. Here it succeeds better than anywhere else in the world and produces wines of an inky depth and spicy richness.

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Four thousand metres up and down the other side, Argentina has adopted the Malbec grape as its own and its soils bring out the vigour and vivacity of this variety like nowhere else. Two magnificent reds, at highly acceptable prices, that are perfect for the changeability of autumn. I have selected here a clutch of my favourites that show off just how versatile and interesting South America can get.

Brian Sullivan is Adnams’ cellar and kitchen manager in Norfolk. He can be contacted at the following stores: The Old School House, Park Road, Holkham, NR23 1AB, 01328 711714; holkham@adnams.co.uk 23a Lees Yard, Off Bull Street, Holt, NR25 6HS, 01263 715558; holt@adnams.co.uk

Ros�

2008 Ros�, Casa Rivas, Maipo Valley, Chile

Where is it from? Maipo Valley, Chile.Grapes: Mainly Cabernet Sauvignon with a splash of Merlot and Carmen�re.Who made it? Casa Rivas.Why is it special? This ros� is summer incarnate.What does it taste like? Wildly fruity, delicious blackcurrant flavours with exuberant appeal.Food match: Perfect for hot curries and spicy Thai dishes.Price: �5.99.

 

White wines

AG88 2007 Torront�s ‘Urban’ Bodegas O Fournier Mendoza, Argentina

Where is it from? Mendoza, Argentina.Grapes: Torront�s.Who made it? Jose Spisso.Why is it special? Torront�s is an Argentinian speciality with a great future.What does it taste like? Creamy pear-like qualities with a fresh touch of citrus.Food match: Grilled Mackerel.Price: �8.50.

 

Red wines

2008 Carmen�re, Casa Rivas, Maipo Valley, Chile

Where is it from? Maipo Valley, Chile.Grapes: Carmen�re.Who made it? Casa Rivas.Why is it special? Carmen�re flourishes best in Chile.What does it taste like? Vigorous, wild, black fruit flavours. Concentrated and structured.Food match: Richly flavoured dishes like Coq au Vin.Price: �5.99.

2007 Malbec, Bodegas Gouguenheim, Mendoza, Argentina

Where is it from? Mendoza, Argentina.Grapes: Malbec.Who made it? The Gouguenheim family.Why is it special? Malbec is at its best from Argentina.What does it taste like? Big flavours of cherries and plums with perfect Malbec ‘bite’ on the finish. Impressive.Food match: Made for steak by steak-eating experts.Price: �6.99.

2006 Kuyen,Alvaro Espinoza, Maipo Valley, Chile

Where is it from? Maipo Valley, Chile.Grapes: A blend of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.Who made it? Alvaro Espinoza.Why is it special? Biodynamically made, this blend shows the way forward for Chile.What does it taste like? Vigorous, mouth-filling, black fruit flavours with lingering substance.Food match: Well made sausages and plenty of them!Price: �12.99.

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