Tasting Notes: Don Tony Perez of Curico Valley, Chile

Don Tony Perez has only been in business a few years, producing both whites and reds within the Curico Valley. This is one of the largest and oldest wine regions in Chile, located in the center of the country. With so many micro-climates along the coast and even inland, several varietals can be made within the region. In preparation to represent this brand, I tasted six of them and was wildly impressed. Tasting notes below!

1.) 2013 White:

A very approachable and enjoyable white blend consisting of equal parts Viognier and Riesling. The nose demands your attention with a plethora of tropical fruits like mango and pineapple. Thereโ€™s a hint of vanilla, indicating the soft usage of (partial) oak. The weight is delicate but the tropical fruits are confirmed on the palate, and even a bit more raisonated and candied on the finish. Several other fruits exist across the finish, including golden pears and passionfruit. Again, nothing overwhelming or out of place, this white blend is surely a crowd-pleaser.

2.) 2011 Red:

This red blend is charming and exceptionally well balanced. The aroma leads with fruit and includes notes of dried figs and blackberries. The palate consists of leather and spices, with a touch of coriander on the finish. While the tannins are quite intense, this is definitely a food-preferred wine. Iโ€™d recommend a ragu or meat stew to pair best with this blend.

3.) 2011 Syrah Gran Reserva:

This is a stunning expression of the Syrah grape and fully came to life after decanting. The nose consists of licorice and stewed fruits like blackberry jam, cranberry sauce and orange marmalade. Very complex, as the palate is quite different than the nose. Secondary flavors of red pepper flakes, pine needles, chocolate and candied currants exist across the palate and throughout the finish. While a very fully bodied wine, the tannins are smooth and do not overwhelm. Exceptional and multifaceted!

4.) 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon: 

First and foremost, this is an earth-driven, very mineral wine. Mushrooms and potting soil are quite apparent on the nose, but fade to the background across the palate. Leather, berries and cinnamon came to life once tasted, along with wet wood and dark chocolate (indicating mature barrels were used in production). Tremendously approachable for such a young Cabernet.

5.) 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva:

This wine is extremely fruit forward, conceivably due to the young age. The nose is bursting with boysenberries, blackberries and cherries. Some secondary aromas exist and include fresh ground pepper and red roses. This wine is very interesting and I'd like to see how it develops over the next few years. Still young and very powerful, I would pair with steak or grilled sausages.

6.) 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva:

This very concentrated wine has aged beautifully. All of the right Cabernet qualities are present on the nose and palate. Some tertiary aromas include granite, soil and smoked meat. The tannins are well integrated and the body is quite full. With such a long finish and several fascinating flavors, I can see this wine developing beautifully over the next five years.