A Wine Lover’s Weekly Review Of $10 Wines – A Chilean Sauvignon Blanc

Despite all the Chilean wines and all the Sauvignon Blancs that I have tasted over the years, both my memory and my web site’s search box tell me that I have never reviewed a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc. Rather surprising. The 120 on the bottle stands for the 120 men hiding in Santa Rita’s extensive wine cellar alongside the national hero Bernardo O’Higgins after the historic 1814 Battle of Rancagua when Chile was reconquered by Spain. The winery now owns more than 3000 hectares (over 7500 acres) of vines and is partnered with the French winery Lafite-Rothschild. The companion wine is a Marlborough, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc at twice the price.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed Santa Rita 120 Sauvignon Blanc D, O, Valle Centrale 2012 13.5 % alcohol about $8.

Let’s start by quoting the marketing materials “Tasting Note Appearance; pale straw. Nose; gooseberry, peach, citrus, fresh cut grass. Palate; light and refreshing with balanced acidity. Serving Suggestion Salads, herb chicken, as a sipper.” And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine was thin, excessively acidic, and fairly short. Matzo ball soup smoothed the acidity to some extent. The drink sweetened and I tasted citrus. I spiced up the soup with Yemeni green jalapeno sauce that rounded the liquid and the fruit continued. The initial meal focused on a barbecued chicken. The libation responded with metallic pea pods and good acidity. Zesty guacamole rendered our SB slightly woody. Fresh raspberries for dessert fairly muted Whitey; and I did note some unpleasant pea pods and pleasant oak.

The second meal started with Japanese rice crackers that brought out the acid and lime in my glass. The centerpiece was an omelet with black pepper, garlic powder, and red (cayenne) pepper. In response our Chilean friend was round but rather thin. The commercial Turkish salad composed of onions, tomato paste, and red pepper lengthened the wine and once again brought out the oak. As expected, fresh strawberries muted the libation but I did note some charcoal.

The final meal began with chicken wings in soya sauce. The liquid’s acidity handled the dish’s grease well and its lime tasted pleasant. Things worked out much the same with the beef egg rolls but the wine was oily, even though the eggs rolls were not. More of the same and smoke when the juice was paired with Chicken fried rice. The smokiness intensified and was accompanied by pleasant sweetness when the fermented grape juice met the fried beef strips with veggies. The final component of this (pseudo) Chinese meal was sweet and sour chicken. And winey’s acidity ended up sour and not sweet.

Final verdict. I remember my previous bargain wine was border line at $7.50. Since I paid $11 for today’s offering the border was beyond reach.

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but drinking fine Iwine with good company. He loves teaching computer classes at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website www.theworldwidewine.com features a weekly review of $10 wines. His Italiian  travel website is http://www.travelitalytravel.com .

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