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CamillaBordewichXmas2010For Chilean wines, the ‘dependable’ tag – great value, rock-solid quality – endures. But when Majestic Buyer Camilla Bordewich was looking to refresh our Chilean range, she was thrilled to unearth so many wines with real interest and character alongside that reliability…

Chile’s winemaking identity is hard to pin down. The country boasts diverse terroirs and winemakers who have mastered just about every variety they’ve turned their hands to. As a result, you’re likely to find a strong Chilean option whatever you’re looking for, from zesty Sauvignon Blanc to rich reds, a crowd-pleasing party wine to something altogether more serious.

First up, the simply stunning value of the 120 range from Santa Rita, Wine & Spirits Magazine’s ‘Winery of the Year’ and ‘Value Brand of the Year 2010’. The Viognier offers typical peachy, spicy characters – perfect with warming spiced dishes like a Moroccan chicken tagine. The reds are ripe and rounded with none of the cloyingsweetness or hard tannins that some find off-putting in New World reds.

Santa Rita 120 Viognier 2009, Maipo Valley New!
£6.24 or £4.99* when you buy 2 bottles

Santa Rita 120 Carmenère 2009, Rapel Valley New!
£6.24 or £4.99* when you buy 2 bottles

Santa Rita 120 Merlot 2009, Rapel Valley New!
£6.24 or £4.99* when you buy 2 bottles

Purple-SunsetValue is every bit as relevant when choosing a more expensive bottle for a good meal. And Santa Rita’s Medalla Real Gran Reserva wines really deliver, with both redswinning Gold at this year’s IWC awards. The Cabernet Sauvignon has classic cassis and cedar notes, silky ripe tannins and a long, luxurious finish. The Carmenère istextbook: red fruits and chocolate mingle on the palate, with fresh acidity and sweet oak giving structure without hard angular edges. The Chardonnay, from the cool Limari Valley, marries tropical New World notes with more classical citrus minerality.

Santa Rita Medalla Real Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Maipo Valley
£10.99 £9.99 or £7.99* when you buy 2 bottles

Santa Rita Medalla Real Carmenère 2008, Colchagua Valley New!
£9.99 or £7.99* when you buy 2 bottles

Santa Rita Medalla Real Chardonnay 2008, Limari Valley New!
£9.99 or £7.99* when you buy 2 bottles

Famous in Chile for producing top-end wines mostly seen in the restaurants of Santiago, the Viu Manent winery has produced an everyday range that’s all about freshness, delicacy and pure varietal expression. These are perfect midweek wines – elegant, vinous and refreshing, adaptable with food, brilliant without. Alongside the zesty, guava-scented Sauvignon Blanc and creamy tropical Chardonnay are a fresh, blackberry-rich Cabernet and elegant ripe-plum Merlot.

Rayuela Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Viu Manent New!
£7.49 or £5.99* when you buy 2 bottles

Rayuela Chardonnay 2010, Viu Manent New!
£7.49 or £5.99* when you buy 2 bottles

Rayuela Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Viu Manent
New! £7.49 or £5.99* when you buy 2 bottles

Rayuela Merlot 2009, Viu Manent New!
£7.49 or £5.99* when you buy 2 bottles

ChileLambCarmenère may originate in Bordeaux, but it’s widely seen as Chile’s signature red grape. Based in the cool, dry, chalky Limari Valley in the north of the country, Viña Tabali’s Maray Carmenère epitomises the area’s clean mineral style. Forest fruits and spicy chocolate on the medium-bodied palate are kept lively by good acidity that will partner well with rich, tangy sauces. Try with tomato-based dishes, duck or venison cooked with damsons or cherries, or even Chinese five-spice.

Maray Carmenère 2009, Limari Valley New!
£8.74 or £6.99* when you buy 2 bottles

Finally two new wines from Viña Carmen deserve attention. The elegant Cabernet Sauvignon comes from Maipo Alto, home to some of the finest reds in the land. This has a powerful yet polished palate laden with blackcurrant, cedar and cake spice. The Carmenère, from the steep slopes of Apalta’s high zone, combines red fruit and smoky spice with a velvety smooth texture.

Carmen Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Maipo Alto Valley New!
£12.49 or £9.99* when you buy 2 bottles

Carmen Gran Reserva Carmenère 2008, Apalta New!
£12.49 or £9.99* when you buy 2 bottles

*Prices are valid from 02 November 2010 to 31 January 2011.

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