Ordinarily, I’ll drink anything but Chardonnay, said Dave McIntyre in The Washington Post. But recently, after sampling several truly exceptional Chardonnays from the Limari Valley of northern Chile, I’ve reconsidered. This region may well become “the world’s next source of consistently good Chardonnay.” It already produces first-rate Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Riesling.
Vines were first planted in the Limari in the 16th century. As in California, the fog rolls in from the Pacific early in the morning, and vanishes by mid-afternoon, so that grapes can “bask in the late-day sun.” Here are three wines especially worth searching out.
Maycas del Limari Chardonnay 2008 Limari Valley, Chile ($26)
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
This “top-notch” Chardonnay sets the standard for the region. Sophisticated flavors, with a long finish.
Maycas del Limari Syrah 2008 Limari Valley, Chile ($26)
This is a “terrific New World–style Syrah.” Fermented in new oak; 14 percent alcohol.
Agustinos Reserva Pinot Noir 2008 Bio-Bio, Chile ($15)
“Great value.” Bio-Bio lies farther south than the Limari Valley. The cooler weather provides ideal conditions for producing ripe wines “with vibrant acidity.” Crisp, lean, “almost deceptively light.”
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.