Currently, Palm Bay represents Argentine wineries Salentein and their second label El Portillo, as well as new addition Cailla. They also currently represent Chilean producers Mont Gras, Amaral, Intriga and of course, Santa Rita.
Over the past few months, I have renewed my interest in MontGras, as their Reserve Carmenere has become a staple best seller in our stores, yet I did not retaste their wines, having tasted through the majority of them quite recently. I chose to taste through the fairly new wines of Amaral and Intriga, as well as try the upper-tiers of Santa Rita, including all the Medalla Real line, as well as the Floresta, Triple C, the new Pehuen, and the Casa Real Cab.
Amaral has just two wines – the Chardonnay 2007 and Sauvignon Blanc 2008 – both from the emerging Leyda region in Chile. Founded by the Gras family (of MontGras fame), these two nicely-priced wines offer delicious examples of this up-and-coming region. The Chardonnay is a New World style, with lively pineapple and citrus, intermingling with creamy butterscotch and vanilla textures. The Sauvignon Blanc is zesty, with bright citrus tones and well-balanced acidity. These wines will probably be here in the next few months.
The Pehuen 2005 is a new blend of Carmenere and Cabernet Sauvignon that shows both power and grace on the palate. It’s a silky, smooth red with supple tannins, loads of dense black fruit in both the nose and on the tongue, and has a long, lengthy finish. Look for this wine in our stores soon.
The Triple C 2005 is a blend of Cab, Carmenere and Cabernet Franc – which really got me going with the Cab Franc addition (most wine geeks are big Cab Franc fans). Again, lots of power and lots of elegance are accounted for here in this dynamic, but unfortunately small-produced wine.
The Casa Real 2005 showed amazing depth and character. Well-built, with layers of dark fruits, spices and vanillin oak, with smooth, supple tannins, and a multi-dimensional finish.
I was truly impressed with the Chilean wines from Palm Bay. I am currently putting together an order and hope to have these wines in very soon. Tomorrow, I’ll touch on some of their German selections from winemaker S.A. Prum, and wrap things up with my favorite wine producing region, Italy.