Santa Rita – good Chilean for under $10

Winery website:

If you were to ask most anyone in the wine-world – just a few short years ago – what one of the hottest wine regions going was – most likley, the answer would’ve been Chili. It created a name for itself in creating affordable Cabs and Carmenere’s which were giving folks in the northern hemisphere fits – since that time, however, things have simmered down quite a bit and Chili has lost some of its rock-star status in that regard. But all is not lost in the least – in fact, this review will show you two execeptional values for under$10 that are worth your attention.

2008 Sauvignon Blanc – W.E.P. Rating: 120%


Technical Data: 

  • pH: 3.17
  • acidity: 6.71g/l (expresado en Ac. Tartárico)
  • alcohol: 13.8° C
  • Region : Casablanca Valley
  • residual sugar: 2.0g/l
  • Vinification : 25% of the grapes were cold macerated for 12 hours at temperatures under 5ºC. The rest were crushed and immediately pressed. Free-run and low pressures were used to produce the Reserve level, in order to ensure high fruit concentration and a good acidity balance, which is essential to this style of fresh and crispy Sauvignon Blanc. Highly fined musts fermented allow good fruit development and retention. Some at low temperatures (10-11ºC) work on its lees is done before its fining.
  • Price: $10

Nose: Grapefruit, hay, flint rock, chalk and grass.

Taste: A good amount of pea-gravel laced with fresly squeezed grapefruit juice and a chip from a bail of alfalfa hay.I also pick up some really nice hints of lemon zest and coriander. Nice lingering finish that hangs out for quite a while – a great wine with shrimp, muscles or clams. 

2007 Reserva Carmenere – W.E.P. Rating: 120%

Technical Data: 

  • pH: 3.87
  • Acidity: 4.82 g/l (expressed in Tartaric Acid)
  • Alcohol: 14.0 ºC
  • Residual sugar: 2.4 g/l
  • Region : Rapel Valley
  • Vinification : The crushed grapes underwent a 7-10 day cold soak prior to vinification with selected yeasts. Fermenation began at 28º-30ºC (82º-86ºF) and was later lowered to 25ºC (77ºF). Constant pumpovers and variable fermentaiton times ensure good and controlled tannin extraction. Post-fermentation maceration was conducted as determined by tastings.
  • Price: $10

Nose: Classic carmenere nose with heavy black pepper, blackberry, black plums and black cherries, however it has some very strong hints of cedar-box action as well. 

Taste: A nicely fruit-driven wine that floods the tongue with an attack of black fruit cascading on your palete like a class-5 tornado. Good balance of oak, fruit and acidity make this a no-brainer wine for outdoor bbq or any sort of heavily-season meats.