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I just absolutely love how at the sub-£5 level Chilean wines come up with the goods time and time again in terms of everyday, informal drinking. In this area they tend to hit home on that oral pleasure spot with the accuracy of a laser guided bomb with those oh so reliable fruit flavours. The wine this time that was playing hedonistic havoc on my palate was a blended white, Anakena Chardonnay/Viognier, vintage 2006. It is normally available at £4.99 from Co-op supermarkets and when on offer at £3.99 arguably a steal.
The Chardonnay and Viognier grapes for this little beauty are sourced from the Central Valley of Chile which is a catch-all for wines produced from grapes which can come from anywhere in this large viticulture region of Chile. The Central Valley is also further divided into sub-regions based on river valleys e.g. Rapel Valley, Maipo Valley which have their own wine specialties (these valleys are famous for Cabernet Sauvignon for instance). I imagine most people are fairly well acquainted with Chardonnay but if you havenít heard of Viognier before then that is quite reasonable as it has only recently exploded out of its roots in Southern France to become a fashionable white wine grape in its own right.
I found this a great wine to drink on its own after dayís labour and trials but if you do not want to finish the whole bottle like I did (Usually because no one else is around around !), then donít be afraid to sling the bottle back in the fridge where it should still be drinkable for another 1-2 days. This is because the coolness of the fridge should slow down oxidation of the wine and help preserve those lovely fresh, lively fruit flavours which make this wine so attractive !
Moving onto the wine I did not serve it ice cold i.e. 4-5 degrees Celcius as I didnít want to dampen down its delicious fruit flavours and aromas. I aimed for a warmer 8-10 degrees which I considered optimal. The actual aromas were mouth watering. An ensemble of ripe mango, peach and apricot greeted my eager nose. The apricot aromas were from the Viognier portion of the wine which adds a more pungent exotic element to the more subdued peach-mango aromas from the Chardonnay. I was really taken at this point even before Iíd sipped it.
Fortunately the tasting of the wine didnít disappoint either. Admittedly not hugely complex but spot on for the money. It had crisp peach flavours with a deliciously supple medium body which glided across the palate balanced by a moreishly refreshing tangy acidity on the finish. I would say definitely one to drink young so you can enjoy all that lively fruit and zingy acidity that really shape this wine. The Viognier on the body of the aroma melds well with the Chardonnay as it adds a supple fruitiness to the lively acidic structure provided by the latter grape. In my mind this wine demonstrated this attribute well.
If youíre having a do or a gathering with a lot of crisp yet fruity white wine lovers then youíll probably wonít go wrong with this (especially if you cheekily snaffle some on discount !).