When I think of Chilean wine, I have to I admit, I don’t think of sparkling wine. I think of red wine — Cabernet Sauvignon or Carménère. Today I have the opportunity to challenge that association by sharing my tasting notes of a sparkling rosé and white wine from longtime Chilean producer Viña Valdivieso. This may be my first taste of a Chilean sparkling wine. Both wines were received as tasting samples.
It is fitting that my first taste of Chilean sparkling wine come from the producer that made the first sparkling wines in Chile. According to Wines of Chile, Alberto Valdivieso founded Champagne Valdivieso in 1879 and not only made the first sparkling wines in Chile but in South America. By the 1980s the company began making still wines and became known as Viña Valdivieso.
Valdivieso NV Brut Rosé — translucent ruby in the glass with exuberant, but short-lived bubbles. Aromas of green apples and blackberries are generous. Blackberry flavors come to the forefront with backnotes of apples, dusty earth and citrus. Toasty notes linger on the finish, which is at least moderate in length. 12% abv. $13
This lively and flavorful sparkler, a blend of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay is made in the charmat method utilizing pressurized and temperature-controlled tanks. In general the charmat method produces sparkling wines with plenty of fruit flavor, but is less expensive than the traditional method, which uses a second fermentation in the bottle to achieve the bubbles.
2015 Valdivieso Valley Selection Gran Resrva Sauvignon Blanc — pale yellow-green in the glass with generous jalapeño aromas that carry over to the flavor profile. Lime zest and herbal flavors join the jalapeño for a crisp, zesty finish. Flavors linger for a long finish. 12% abv. $17.
Sauvignon Blanc for this bottling is grown in the cool, maritime-influenced Leyda Valley west of Santiago. Stainless steel fermentation, with 3 months of lees aging, is followed by bottling. Enjoy this bright Sauvignon Blanc on its own or with salads, fish or chicken. It’s super refreshing and perfectly suited for a warm afternoon.
Both of these wines offer quality at a very reasonable price and very low alcohol levels, which I particularly appreciate in the warm weather when I’m likely to reach for a second glass of wine.