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Delhi Wine Club

Posted: Friday, 02 July 2010 10:12

Chile Sauvignons Shine at Concours Mondial

At the first Concours Mondial du Sauvignon Blanc  organised recently at  the Bordeaux Fete le Vin wine fair by Concours Mondial de Bruxelles in conjunction with the ODG Bordeaux and Bordeaux Superieur, Chilean wines outshone even the French in their home ground by winning 36% medals as compared to 30%  by France, and with the Golden Trophy for an expensive Sauvignon Blanc as a bonus.

Thinking of Chile may remind one of Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere since around 75% of wines produced are red, but the name Casablanca Valley brings images of Sauvignon Blanc, the most white grape variety planted (7,741 hA) along with similar surface area for Chardonnay.

While Chilean Sauvignon Blanc continues to impress Indian palates with value for money wines from producers like Valdivieso, Concha y Toro, Anakena and Montes etc, it received a big boost recently when it sent 58 entries out of which 21 won medals at the first edition of Concours Mondial du Sauvignon Blanc in France which submitted the highest entries at 306 wines which got them 92 medals, according to a report by Wines of Chile.

Chile won 4 gold medals, 16 silvers, and a special trophy for Casa Marín 2009 Cipreses Vineyard in the unoaked Sauvignon Blanc over €12 category. Michel Laurent 2009 from Sancerre was awarded this trophy for under €12 category.

Chile came in second only to France in the first such varietal-focused event in which 512 wine samples were sent from France, South Africa, New Zealand, Japan, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Greece and Brazil. Around 40 tasters from 10 countries participated to select the medal winners. Chile’s participation was reportedly supported by ProChile.

Sauvignon Blanc is originally the grape from Loir Valley with Sancerre being the Mecca for lovers of this grape varietal. Bordeaux whites use it in the white blends. Marlborough of New Zealand has become a tough competitor now,. Chile and South Africa are big producers with Italy and Spain also enamoured with the variety, besides Austria.

India was not represented in the competition but Sauvignon Blanc is the most coveted white wine variety even though Chenin Blanc perhaps would win the most planted grape category because of its higher yield and better paring possibility with spicy Indian food with its off- dry style. Introduced by Sula as the first white varietal in India in 2000, practically every Indian winery now includes this varietal in their portfolio.This could have been a good opportunity for the Indian Grape Processing Board to support and showcase some of our Sauvignon Blancs.

With a planting of around 200,000 acres globally, it is still a popular varietal though critics consider it a single dimensional grape-since Chardonnay offers a bigger spectrum of flavours with oak ageing. Sometimes, it is also considered a thinking man’s Pinot Grigio which is a pleasant, quaffable, short, daily drinking, inexpensive variety the imported version of which is quite popular in India as an affordable aperitif wine.


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