September 1, 2011: Vina Santa Carolina of Chile and Best-Known Wines of Portugal: Vinho Verde & Port

Vina Santa Carolina is the most traditional and renowned product-line of Carolina Wine Brand. It’s foundation dates back to 1875, making it one of the oldest Chilean wineries still around today. They aim to achieve a perfect balance of tradition and modernity by investing in the latest technologies to optimize the winemaking process. For the tasting we will sample four wines from their Reserva series; these include Sauvignon Blanc from Leyda, Pinot Noir from Maule, Carmenere from Rapel, and Cabernet Sauvignon from Colchagua, all priced at $9.99 tomorrow night.

Portugal is best-known for two wines; Vinho Verde, or “green wine,” a young white wine, and Port, a fortified dessert wine that can be made in various styles (for more information about Fortified Wines please click on our Wine Education page). We will sample one example of each- the Vinho Verde is called Cape Roca and will be $10.99 for the tasting, and the Port is made by Croft (one of the oldest Port producers still in business today; established in 1678), it’s their entry-level Tawny and will be $15.99 tomorrow night.

We hope you will join us!

The specific wines for the tasting are:

Cape Roca “Fisherman” Vinho Verde 2010– Portugal. This fresh and light-bodied “green wine” offers clean aromas of white flowers, citrus blossom, and pineapple hints. On the palate it is lively with very low spritz (most Vinho Verde contain spritz, some to the point they could almost be considered “frizzante”) and a generous, leesy texture. The finish is complex and lingering with lime and floral notes.

Santa Carolina Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2010– Leyda, Chile. A bright, aromatic, and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc with intense aromas of lemon, lime, herbs, and minerals. It is medium-bodied with nice balance of acidity and fruit-flavors, with flavors of green grass, citrus, more herbs, and hints of wet stone.

Santa Carolina Pinot Noir Reserva 2010– Maule, Chile. An excellent value Pinot Noir with aromas of raspberries and cherries, and hints of earth, smoke, and spice. A portion of the blend ages in oak which provides hints of vanilla/spice and toasty notes that are enhanced with dark plummy fruit flavors and a suggestion of smoke.

Santa Carolina Carmenere Reserva 2009– Rapel, Chile. The wine aged in small oak barrels for 8 months. An opaque purple-colored offering with deep aromas of dark fruits, spice, and violets. It is full-bodied and concentrated with bold, ripe fruit flavors, enhanced with notes of caramel and vanilla. It’s another great value with fine tannins and a lingering finish.

Santa Carolina Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2009– Colchagua, Chile. Aged in a combination of small French and American oak barrels for 9 months prior to bottling. Aromas of dark chocolate, green pepper, coconut, ripe cherry and black currant are followed by a ripe, fruit-forward palate with flavors of sweet spices, vanilla, and ripe berry fruits. It is nicely balanced with a very long finish. A great value.

Croft Fine Tawny Port NV– Portugal. This example is a tawny style, which means that the wine is blended from multiple vintages and aged in oak barrels, thereby oxidizing the wine over time. It is reddish-brown in color with nutty aromas of caramel, toffee, roasted nuts, and coffee hints. The slightly sweet palate is rich and inviting with great texture followed by a lengthy, delicious finish.

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