Many of our wine guests have been aware over the past couple of years of the amazing quality and sheer drinkability of the wines from Casas del Bosque. But they might not have been aware that this boutique family winery was presented with the prestigious ‘Best Chilean Wine Producer’ award for two consecutive years (2013 and 2014) at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London.
Casas del Bosque, which was established in 1993, is located in the Casablanca Valley just 43 miles from Chile’s capitol city of Santiago and 19 miles from the beautiful seaport town of Valparaiso. The cool climate Casablanca Valley is perfectly suited to produce excellent Sauvignon Blanc, for which this winery is justly famous. Less well-known to many people in the U.S. is the fact that this area also produces some great Pinot Noir. Bosque’s Cabernet Sauvignon and Carménère hail from the warmer Rapel and Maipo valleys and are also well worth anyone’s attention. Cabernet Sauvignon is generally regarded as the red grape that Chile does best. But Chilean Carménère can be, but sometimes is not, especially interesting and a pleasure to enjoy.
Carménère – originally gaining prominence in Bordeaux in France – has come to be regarded as a Chilean specialty. Unfortunately, because of its similarity in appearance to Merlot it was for a century grown to Merlot’s standards and sold as Merlot. It was only in the 1990s that a French ampelographer realized that what Chile was growing and selling as Merlot was in fact Carménère. It took some time to realize that Carménère requires different handling. It need a longer hang time than Merlot, and a moderate climate as well as minimal rainfall or irrigation. The Carménère from Casas del Bosque is produced as Carménère should be, and the result is quite stunning.
ABC Fine Wine & Spirits currently carries four of the great wines from Casas del Bosque – the Casas del Bosque Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, very long and rich and full-bodied, which was awarded 94 points from James Suckling for the current 2014 vintage; the Casas del Bosque Reserva Carménère, a beautiful example of the best that Chile can do with this varietal; the Casas del Bosque Reserva Pinot Noir which received 92 points from James Suckling in the current 2015 vintage and is well worth discovering by all Pinot-heads; and the Casas del Bosque Reserva Sauvignon Blanc – a real treat for all Sauvvy Blanc lovers.
If you haven’t done it already, put these wines on your must-try list!
Bill Stobbs, ABC Wine & Spirits Sales Manager
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