Over time we have done lots of Chilean wines, including several that fell into the inexpensive category. This is our third from the Alfasi (Kosher) winery. Winemaker Héctor Saldivia and his team work with over a thousand hectares (more than 2,500 acres) planted in international red grapes as well as Chardonnay. They have made a major commitment to the environment and fighting global warming. The companion wine is an Israeli Cabernet Sauvignon at about half again the price.
Let’s start by quoting the marketing materials. “Tasting Note : Medium Ruby; light cherry, green pepper aroma; light flavours, moderate tannins.” And now for my review.
At the first sips this wine was light, offering balanced acidity and tannins. Japanese rice crackers featuring Wasabi and Edame along with peanuts and cashews picked up the libation’s acidity. The initial meal centered on a packaged Eggplant Rolatini with Ricotta and Mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and lots more that I slathered with grated Parmesan cheese. In response the Merlot was fruity and somewhat but not excessively sweet. I also noted a tinge of oak. Fresh pineapple had the hardly unexpected effect of muting the wine.
My next meal began with hot off the griddle potato pancakes. In response our Chilean friend was fruity and its acidity did a fine job of washing down that delicious grease. When paired with spicy barbecued chicken breast Red was long and tasted of tobacco. Green beans in a tomato sauce rendered my glass’s contents round and somewhat dark. Fresh raspberries muted the drink but I did note a touch of chocolate in the background.
The final meal started off with homemade lentil soup that imparted to the Merlot a light taste of oak, dark cherries, good acidity, and few tannins. Slow cooked chicken legs rendered the drink round and plummy while the accompanying chicken thighs sharpened its acidity to some extent. The pot’s potatoes rendered the liquid’s acidity almost unpleasant. When paired with chickpeas the wine’s roundness returned. Fresh pineapple made my glass’s contents uni-dimensional.
Final verdict. When I want an inexpensive Kosher wine I will buy this offering again. But I won’t be writing home about it.Access the companion wine An Upper Galilee Cabernet Sauvignon.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would
rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario
French-language community college. His wine websites include
www.theworldwidewine.com and http://www.wineinyourdiet.com
Visit his website devoted to italian travel www.travelitalytravel.com
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