Summertime is finally here, so it’s time to break out the barbecues and enjoy those pool parties and picnics! As the temperatures rise, so does our thirst for light, crisp summertime white wines. Friends are always asking me for recommendations on summertime whites that are versatile enough to serve at summertime picnics and parties as well as to enjoy anytime at home. I recently had an opportunity to taste a couple of Chilean white wines produced by Rios De Chile. These two wines definitely fit the bill and are a great value.
Rios De Chile produces three categories of wines: the basic line of wines, Reserve (or Reserva) wines, and a Grand Reserve (Gran Reserva) line of wines. I tasted a 2011 Chardonnay and a 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, both from the basic line. Both of these wines are produced from fruit sourced from Chile’s vast Central Valley Region; a region with a reputation for producing quality wines at a good value. Now let’s get to the fun part; the wines!
The Rios De Chile 2011 Chardonnay is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes and is fermented in 100% stainless steel tanks that allow the purest expression of the grape. In the glass, the wine pours a golden lemon color. Swirling the wine in the glass allows a bouquet of tropical fruits, green apples, and white stone fruits to emerge. On the palate, you get refreshing tropical fruits such as pineapple, passion fruit, and mango as well as another layer of fresh green apple, and citrus. All of the flavors are balanced out by nice acidity and the wine finishes long. This is a very crisp, clean, and light Chardonnay that will pair great with lighter summer foods such as salads, seafood, poultry, and creamy pasta dishes. This wine retails for $10.
Now, on to the Rios De Chile 2011 Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes and is also fermented in 100% stainless steel. The wine pours a pale, lemon color in the glass. On the nose, you get a perfumed bouquet of tropical fruits, lively lemon and lime, flowers, herbs, and minerals. The bouquet is lovely and not overly pungent like you get in most Sauvignon Blancs that come from New Zealand. The palate is full of tropical fruits, lemon, lime, ruby grapefruit, pear, and finishes with a crisp, long finish with an herbaceous note. This wine also has lovely, crisp acidity that will make it a perfect pairing for light pasta dishes and seafood grilled on the barbecue. This wine retails for $10.
Both of these wines are an excellent example of the quality wines being produced in Chile’s Central Valley Region. These wines are great to have on hand for summertime picnics, and barbecues and are a great introduction to Chilean wines. Up until recently, these wines were not found in the United States. The wines are being imported by Pacific Wine Group and will become more widely available.
Rios De Chile can be found on Twitter and Facebook. Be sure to connect with them to stay up to date on latest releases and information. It was a pleasure tasting these wines and sharing them with you. Until the next time friends.
*These wines were provided as media samples for review purposes.