For our many guests planning a fourth of July cookout with family and friends this weekend, allow me to suggest a few Direct-to-You selections from Chile that are tasty, wallet-friendly and perfectly suited for your outdoor grill and chill. They include a few new arrivals and some returning favorites.
The latest portfolio additions are two Reserva bottlings from 8 Rios, a new vineyard project from venerable Viña Undurraga, one of Chile’s oldest historical wineries. The 8 Rios Reserva Sauvignon Blanc ($11) is refreshing with lime-blossom, pink grapefruit and a lip-smacking finish. The grapes are predominantly sourced from Chile’s Leyda Valley, a coastal area known for producing lively, fresh whites. The 8 Rios Reserva Red Cuvee ($11) is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere offering juicy currant, tobacco, plum and linzer torte. The fruit comes from the classic Rapel Valley appellation in the Andean foothills, long considered a great location for thick-skinned Bordeaux varietals.
Adorned with a chili pepper on the label, the PKNT Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve and PKNT Sauvignon Blanc Reserve ($8 each) presents a play on words. PKNT stands for Passion, Knowledge, Nature and Time, but is pronounced “piquant”, suggesting something appetizingly tangy. Both wines offer solid varietal character at a value price. Try the white with shrimp salad or ceviche and the red with grilled chorizo.
Back by popular demand is Santa Isle Cabernet Sauvignon Grand Reserve ($16) produced in the sub-region of Maule. This is densely structured, mouth-filling Cabernet Sauvignon with cassis, blackberry, cocoa and eucalyptus. This would certainly stand up to thick slices of sirloin with drizzle of Chimichurri or a no-holds-barred cheeseburger with thick-cut slabs of duck bacon and grilled onions.
We’ve had trouble keeping this wine on our store shelves, so stop by your local ABC Fine Wine & Spirits location in advance of the fireworks and pick up a few bottles before it’s all gone again.
Jim Greeley, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits wine and spirits supervisor
Follow me on Twitter @abcwineJimG