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Central Valley

The Central Valley occupies the middle latitudes of Chile and is at the very heart of its wine industry.

Stretching for over a hundred miles south from Santiago, sandwiched between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean, it is divided into the four sub-regions of the Maipo, Rapel, Curicó and Maule Valleys.

The Central Valley occupies the middle latitudes of Chile and is at the very heart of its wine industry.

Stretching for over a hundred miles south from Santiago, sandwiched between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean, it is divided into the four sub-regions of the Maipo, Rapel, Curicó and Maule Valleys.

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Between them, these four valleys produce most of Chile's fine wine and, owing to low domestic consumption, about three-quarters of this finds its way onto the export market.

Styles of Wine

For nigh on 20 years Chile, and especially the Central Valley, has provided good everyday wine at a reasonable price and the UK and USA have welcomed it with open arms and tingling tastebuds.  This remains the case to this day, but in recent years the Maipo and Rapel Valleys in particular have taken a step up in quality.  The red wines are highly regarded, though the whites are often excellent too.

Key Vines

Old World favourites abound, especially those from Bordeaux, for Chile as a nation was strongly influenced by France in the nineteenth century.  Cabernet Sauvignon is the most successful and popular vine and is joined by Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Semillon.  Torrontés, more often associated with Argentina, also has a presence and so does Zinfandel.  País is a locally popular grape of no great merit that remains widespread in the Maule Valley.

Carmenère is a nationally and regionally important vine.  Once thought to be Merlot, it was recently revealed as a quite distinct variety of grape.  It is also a native of Bordeaux, but unlike Merlot has become virtually extinct in its homeland.  Happily, it is thriving in its adopted Chile.

Climate and Conditions

Wedged between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean, both of these immense natural features are vital to the vines of the Central Valley.  Snowmelt from the former is diverted for irrigation and moist, cool winds from the latter help nurture the grapes.  Soil conditions vary from valley to valley, and even within them.

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  1. Alto Los Romeros Gran Reserva Roussane Marsanne, Colchagua Valley, 2014

    Alto Los Romeros Gran Reserva Roussane Marsanne, Colchagua Valley, 2014 75cl

    Spiced pear and honey flavours are balanced with a crisp finish.

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    £10.26
    £8.55
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  2. Alto Los Romeros, Reserva Gewutrztraminer, Central Valley, 2015

    Alto Los Romeros, Reserva Gewutrztraminer, Central Valley, 2015 75cl

    Characteristicly floral and spicy, this wine is a perfect match for Asian food. The surrounding wild Rosemary meadows of the Colchagua Valley enhance the elegance of the grape.

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    £6.40
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  3. Cousino Macul Finis Terrae White, Mapio Valley, 2013

    Cousino Macul Finis Terrae White, Mapio Valley, 2013 75cl

    Was £20.95 No other discounts apply.

    This eclectic blend of Chardonnay, Riesling and Viognier offers immense complexity and depth of flavour. Citrus fruit, luxurious apple, apricot and a pronounced florality combine to great effect. A really interesting wine from the Maipo Valley.

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    £15.95
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  4. Ladera Verde Chardonnay, Central Valley, 2015

    Ladera Verde Chardonnay, Central Valley, 2016 75cl

    Fresh, ripe exotic fruit characters abound in this consistently high-quality wine from Chile.

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    £6.06
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  5. Ladera Verde Sauvignon Blanc, Central Valley, 2015

    Ladera Verde Sauvignon Blanc, Central Valley, 2016 75cl

    A deliciously crisp Sauvignon Blanc with the vibrant bouquet so typical of this grape variety. A brilliant find.

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  6. Los Coches Viognier, Central Valley, 2014

    Los Coches Viognier, Central Valley, 2016 75cl

    Soft, pale straw in colour this wine has an intensely floral nose with hints of ripe peach. Full and rounded on the palate ending with a long honey like finish.

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  7. Pato Torrente Chardonnay, Central Valley, 2014

    Pato Torrente Chardonnay, Central Valley, 2016 75cl

    A pure unoaked Chardonnay from Chile. A medium-bodied wine with lemony citrus fruit.

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  8. Pato Torrente Sauvignon Blanc, Central Valley

    Pato Torrente Sauvignon Blanc, Central Valley, 2017 75cl

    Vibrant and zesty, this is a fresh and lively wine with sumptuous fresh fruit character.

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  9. Secreto de Viu Manent Viognier, Colchagua, 2013

    Secreto de Viu Manent Viognier, Colchagua, 2013 75cl

    Pale yellow green in colour with complex, fresh and fruity aromas this wine displays ripe exotic fruits with hints of apricot, ripe pears. Very fruity, yet balance with a long persistent finish.

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    £10.92
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    £9.10
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  10. Vicuna Sauvignon Blanc, Central Valley, 2014

    Vicuna Sauvignon Blanc, Central Valley, 2016 75cl

    Good gooseberry fruit on the nose and through to the crisp dry palate.

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    £6.12
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    £6.85
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  11. Almaviva, Puente Alto, 2009

    Almaviva, Puente Alto, 2009 75cl

    Absolutely fabulous wine from the Chilean producers Concha Y Toro and the famous Baron Phillipe de Rothschild of Bordeaux. Good fruit dominated by blackcurrants is supported by a deep chocolate flavour and a very generous finish. Delicious!

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    £86.83
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  12. Alto Los Romeros Gran Reserva Carignan

    Alto Los Romeros Gran Reserva Carignan, Colchagua Valley, 2013 75cl

    A wine with firm structure, plenty of body and black fruit flavours. The variety has benefited hugely from advances in wine making techniques, as it is a traditional blending grape in southern France.

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    £10.26
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