I just got back from an incredible trip to South America. We visited Chile for two days and then went to Mendoza, Argentina for three days. The entire trip was fantastic, but the highlight for me was the visit to Casa del Bosque, in Chile. Casa del Bosque is located about 43 miles from the capital city of Santiago, Chile. It’s also located only 24 miles from the main port city of Valparaiso. The appellation is called Casablanca. This appellation is somewhat special because it features very cold evenings from the maritime climate. These cold evenings and mornings help the grape’s ripening process.
The soil has granite and alluvial origins; they are poor and not very deep. This causes the vines to struggle, which increases the flavors of the grapes. Believe or not, stress is actually good for the grapes in order to produce excellent wine. The property produces both white and red wines. The whites are: Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. The red wines produced are: Syrah, Pinot Noir and Malbec. In addition, they source grapes from the Rapel and Maipo Valley to produce top quality Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere.
The production by winery standards is quite small, only about 90,000 cases per year. This qualifies Casa del Bosque as a boutique winery, since working with small quantities makes it possible to maintain the best practices which are necessary to produce wines of the finest quality. As far as we were all concerned, they achieved the quality levels and then some. We were all amazed at how delicious all of their wines were, especially at the price point. ABC Fine Wine and Spirits will be receiving these wines very soon. They may very well represent the best value wines that we carry: they are that good! The prices for the Reserva and Grand Reserva wines will range from $12-$18. These wonderful wines all drink much better than their prices. After all, this is what consumers are looking for: a great wine for a great price!
Our lunch was at the magnificent Casa Mirador. This is their invitation-only restaurant and tasting room, located up on top of the hill. It has a spectacular view to the valley of Casablanca. This was the perfect ending to a wonderful day at a very special winery. Look for these wines to be on our shelves in the very near future. Seldom does a winery have top quality wines in virtually all of the categories that they sell. Casa del Bosque achieves this lofty standard and then some. If you see the name Casa del Bosque on the label, you know that the wine in the bottle will be absolutely amazing!
Phil Hayes, wine consultant at ABC Fine Wine & Spirits on Orange Ave. in Orlando.