Sunday, March 20, 2011

2009 Limarí Valley


2009 Concha Y Toro Maycas de Limarí Reserva Syrah, Limarí Valley

I think it was Decanter magazine that proclaimed syrah to be the next big thing coming out of Chile. When you make a claim like that, it's helpful to keep in mind that the next big thing is determined not by a region's most expensive wines, but by its most humble.

And judging by this sample, one of the increasing number of wines defined by its obscure geography, Chile has a bit of work to do to understand syrah. Follows the trend of New World type syrah, showcasing fruit, fruit, and more overripe fruit. Macerated until it's unrecognizable varietally. I tried to give this wine a chance, I really did. It's just not any good.

One wine is hardly sufficient to form an opinion about an entire category. But syrah has such potential to be more than the monstrosities the Australians have been trying to sell North American palates for more than a decade now. They can be subtle, savoury, and incredibly linear wines of great finesse. Hopefully, Chile goes down this path - if the Limarí claims to be cool-climate, then let's see some true cool-climate wines being produced.


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