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Chile: Thinking Outside The Box

featured, Chile

Joaquín Hidalgo, Jun 2023

Readers are likely familiar with Chile’s rich, fruity reds. Beyond that, wine lovers will find a number of bottles that speak to a country with a vast range of landscapes and styles. Inspired whites and reds offer new profiles, many of which are worth getting to know.

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The Harvest in Chile: A Two-Sided Vintage

featured, Chile

Joaquín Hidalgo, May 2023

The 2023 harvest in Chile had two very different sides, depending on location. For most, it was a hot, dry year marred by forest fires in the south, from Maule to BioBio. Producers will remember 2023 as a vintage where the greatest conundrum was deciding the right time to pick.

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Viñedo Chadwick: 21 Years of Cabernet Sauvignon from Puente Alto

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, Chile

Joaquín Hidalgo, Aug 2022

In South America, some wines tell a story while others represent an entire era. There is no doubt that in Chile, Viñedo Chadwick is one of the latter. On my last trip to the country, I had the opportunity to explore 21 chapters of that tale, from beginning to end. Here is a journey through both the style of this Cabernet Sauvignon and the history of a terroir that has earned its name in Maipo.

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A Quarter of a Century in Chile: A Vertical Tasting of Seña

Verticals & Retrospectives, featured, Chile

Joaquín Hidalgo, Aug 2022

What were you doing 25 years ago? A quarter of a century is a good chunk of anyone’s life, but time is always a matter of perspective. Whereas for some old-world producers 25 years can go by in the blink of an eye, in South America it represents an eternity. It’s hard to organize a vertical tasting that can adequately tell that story. But it is not impossible.

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Chile in Transition

featured, Chile

Joaquín Hidalgo, Jun 2022

Chile is a country experiencing major upheavals in the wine scene. This report bears witness to a wide range of regions, beyond Maipo, where new flavor palates are emerging and further identifies the current trends in classic varieties and the challenges producers face today. The result, following a tasting of 800 wines, is an increasingly complex wine map, rich in different styles, varieties and flavors.

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The 2022 Harvest in Chile: A Cool, Dry Year

featured, Chile

Joaquín Hidalgo, Jun 2022

It’s difficult to summarize a vintage in a country where coastal and mountain valleys experience very different conditions, but the numbers show that 2022 in Chile was defined by two stand out phenomena: a lack of water and associated lack of relative humidity, as well as low temperatures. In the context of a drought that has been going on for 13 years now and a 2021 winter with some of the lowest rainfalls ever recorded from Maule to the north, the lack of water and low humidity accelerated ripening processes in the same way as one sees in hot years.

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Chile Flies the Flag for Sustainability

featured, Chile

Joaquín Hidalgo, Jun 2022

In a world working hard to reduce the effects of global warming caused by human activity, every little bit helps. It doesn’t matter whether action is taken in economic powerhouses such as China or the USA, or somewhere down at the southern edge of the world like Chile. In this long, skinny country at the bottom of South America, where green hydrogen and renewables are viable medium-term options for powering the country, the wine industry is taking responsibility and playing its part.

Chile harvest report 2021 cover

2021 in Chile: The Year That Summer Was Gatecrashed by Winter

featured, Chile

Joaquín Hidalgo, Aug 2021

Chile’s 2021 harvest was unusual to say the least: more than 90% of the area under vine was struck by an abnormal weather phenomenon in the middle of summer, with almost unheard-of levels of rainfall in January. Only the northern and southern extremes were lucky enough to be left out. This was followed by a cool February that only served to exacerbate already frayed nerves and keep growers guessing. As it turned out, Bordeaux varieties fared rather well with far more favorable conditions in March producing very exciting Cabernet Sauvignons. This is an overview of a cool, rainy rollercoaster of a season, unlike any seen in recent memory.

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Chile: A Stylistic Journey From the Andes to the Coastal Ridge

featured, Chile

Joaquín Hidalgo, May 2021

Chilean wine producers are developing new styles, using grapes from vineyards planted in the far south of the country and the granite rich soils of the coastal mountain ridge known as the Cordillera de la Costa. Meanwhile, in Maipo, the Cabernet Sauvignons are growing ever more precise. This report provides an overview of these trends and what the changes mean for lovers of Chilean wine.

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2020 Harvest Report: Chile and Argentina

Argentina, featured, Chile

Joaquín Hidalgo, Jul 2020

By the end of March 2020, almost every winery in Chile and Argentina had finished picking. Apart from a few small pockets, on both sides of the Andes the harvest was completed in record time. With ripening accelerated by a combination of climatic factors, and the looming threat of COVID-19 exerting pressure on work teams, we were presented with the unprecedented sight of bare vineyards at the end of March – generally not something you’d see until late April or early May.