I taste wines at all price points. You don’t necessarily buy and drink $40/bottle wines regularly. Sometimes you want a wine that is quaffable and doesn’t break the bank. Chile has been a constant producer of wines in both categories. Today I’m tasting an entry level wine from Vina Undurraga called 8 Rios. Undurraga is a 135-year-old family-owned winery and knows how to make wine. I had the honour of visiting their winery in the Aconcagua Valley and was impressed with it’s history as well as how they were making a modern winery at the same time. 8 Rios stands for the 8 major rivers (rios) that cross Chile. Both wines are $11.99, but at the moment are on sale for $7.99 till Nov 28. A great deal. I received their Sauvignon Blanc 2019 and Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 to review.
My Tasting Notes
8 Rios Sauvignon Blanc 2019 (BC $11.99. On sale $7.99) – This wine has a bright, medium intensity lemon green colour. A little lighter intensity nose, with primarily citrus and green fruit aromas, but you get a touch of asparagus and peach with some swirling plus flintiness. With decanting the aromas change, giving you gooseberries, honey, sweet citrus, along with lesser green fruit and a touch of peach, and no flintiness. This wine is dry, smooth and soft, with a subtle acidic edge. It has medium plus flavour intensity; quite fruity, mostly citrus and green fruit, but also some peach from the mid palate to the finish. With decanting the smoothness and flavours are basically the same. The only changes I noted was some minerality appearing and the disappearance of the light vegetal (which may make some people happy) flavour. There is also a hint of vegetal, but it is very light. It has a shorter length (wish it was a bit longer), finishing with citrus, peach and honey and a bit of pepperiness. A great deal. Recommended.
Rating: An over performing Sauvignon Blanc at it’s price. It has nice citrus and green fruits on the nose and palate, plus a hint of peach. It is smooth with tamed acidity. Stock up for easy holiday sipping.
8 Rios Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 (BC $11.99. On sale $7.99) – A medium plus ruby with a garnet tint in the glass. It has a medium plus intensity nose that comes black fruit and cassis, plus lesser raspberries and red fruits, sweet spices and oak aromas. With decanting I did pick up a bit of smokiness on the nose. This wine does have some residual sugar and tastes off-dry. Lighter acidity and tannins. Medium plus body and flavour intensity. It is round and smooth with a thicker mouth feel. Flavours of cassis, ripe raspberries, red currants, plums, and a touch of black currant leaf. It is a bit jammy. A touch of oak from the mid-palate to the finish. Decanting smooths out the flavours, and you get a lighter mouthfeel. It has a medium length finishing with cassis, red fruit, vanilla and oak, along with a touch of vegetal. The tannins firm up a little bit, but still are very light, and with decanting the tannins get some dustiness. Decanting may make this wine a bit nicer.
Rating: – A Cabernet Sauvignon that offers cassis, black fruits, and sweet spices on the nose. It’s off-dry, round and smooth with very few tannins. Cassis, ripe raspberries and plum flavours together with a touch of oak.
Where Can I Buy These Wines?
These wines are available at over 100 BC Liquor stores.