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Two  Gems from Chile
Expressive and Elegant, they are also affordable
by Simone Zarmati Diament
 
casa silvaOne of the most awarded Chilean winery in international competitions, Casa Silva was founded in 1892 by French wine pioneer Emile Bouchon and is now owned by his descendants, Mario Silva and family - the fifth generation of winemakers.  But it’s only since 1997 that the Silva family produces fine wines, having sold them in bulk until then.
 
Many of the vines planted in the Colchagua Valley, 90 miles south of the Capital Santiago, with the Andes range on the east and near the Pacific Coast, are over 90 years old, carried over by the first generation from pre-phylloxera Bordeaux.  As a result the wines produced there are full flavored and rich.
 
The 2009 Sauvignon Blanc Reserva and the 2008 Carmenère Reserva, Chile’s signature grape, have been released. These two affordable wines are a great value for the outstanding quality they offer.,.
 
2009 Casa Silva Sauvignon Blanc Reserva, Colchagua Valley, Chile ($12) One of the best known "international" varieties originally cultivated in France in the Loire Valley,  Sauvignon Blanc has become a  leading white grape varietal in the New World, namely New Zealand, South Africa and California. It is now Chile’s star white wine and it can compete with the best!    I was astonished and thrilled when I tasted this delicious Sauvignon Blanc! Expressive and elegant on the nose, with citrus, gooseberry and banana aromas. Round and balanced on the palate, with citric, mineral and melon,  slight grassiness on the finish, this wine is crisp and thirst-quenching, but with some real intensity and is very well-suited for light first courses such as oysters, shrimps or salmon carpaccio. It also complements main courses such as seasoned fish and Mediterranean salad or it can be enjoyed on a warm summer evening, either on its own or with light cheeses. Annual production 10,000 cases
 
2008 Casa Silva Carmenere Reserva, Colchagua, Chile  ($12)   Casa Silva Carmenere Reserva is a beautiful expression of the Carmenere grape that is now flourishing in Chile.   This Carmenere is without a doubt a   gem! Deep red/purple in color with complex aromas of blackberries, plums, chocolate, toffee, white pepper and spice  this big red is full in bodfull-bodied, powerful yet elegant. On the palate, it is round and mouth-filling with sweet tannins and a gorgeous balance between fruit and French oak. Aged 50% in French oak for 7 months. Hand-harvested and sorted. On the finish, it is long and rich.  Drink over the next 5-7 years with roast beef, steak, meat empanadas,  aged cheeses.