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This is a crisp sauvignon blanc with blackcurrant-leaf aromas and a refreshing palate, produced for us by Tabalí from their outstanding vineyard in the Talinay area of Limarí, planted on limestone soils just 12km from the Pacific Ocean.
Product Code: CE11101
View all products by Viña Tabalí
This estate, which began planting vines in 1993, is located on the southern bank of Chile’s northern Limarí Valley, around 400km north of Santiago. About 29km inland from the Pacific ocean, where the average maximum temperature in the hottest month is about 25°C, this is ideal for fine chardonnay and pinot noir. The predominant vegetation is cacti, attesting that this is a desert, with just 90mm of rain a year (Mendoza has 200mm, Santiago 400mm), but it is a cool desert. Despite a series of reservoirs in the Andes, recent years have been very dry, and lack of water may threaten existing vineyards and limit future development.Vineyards are situated on three sites, comprising 300 hectares of vines in total. The site around the winery was originally poorly planted but viticulturist Héctor Rojas has been analysing the soils and planting in the best ones which often have high levels of active calcium carbonate. The new Espinal vineyards, 25 km from the sea, have been planted to a density of about 7000 vines a hectare, drip irrigated, and planted with excellent clones and French sélections massales of pinot noir and chardonnay from French nursery Guillaume. The first crop of chardonnay appeared in 2013 and is already showing a huge promise. Syrah from near the winery has also been a huge success. The second site is in the Talinay mountains just about 12km from the coast, with significant wind, which reduces crop at flowering and limits photosynthesis (and so maturity). What is remarkable here is both the very low temperature of about 23°C (the average maximum in the hottest month), which makes this one of the coolest vineyards in Chile, and the so far unique white limestone soil, with some clay, a marine terrace formed from the shells of sea creatures. Pinot, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc are planted here and make tense, taut mineral wines, very different from anything else produced in Chile. A range made from grapes grown here is labelled Talinay.The third site is a small experimental site called Rio Hurtado at 1922m above sea level in the mountains. It was planted a couple of years ago, and so far a number of red varieties have been planted. Malbec has been promising but it is early days.The winery reflects the Molle culture of the pre-Columbian era: during this period, the people used to live at the bottom of ravines to protect themselves from the heat and to be nearer to water supplies, and so Tabalí chose to build its winery in the cool depths of a ravine. Gifted winemaker Felipe Müller oversees the production of a handful of ranges, from the keenly priced Reserva range, which showcases the elegance and complexity of single varietals (including syrah, chardonnay, viognier and a sweet, late-harvest muscat) to the more premium Reserva Especial range, made from grapes planted on the oldest alluvial terrace of the Limarí river. The wines are fermented in stainless-steel tanks, and aged in new French oak where appropriate, normally for around a year.Tabalí’s top wine is the exquisite Payen, a 100% syrah grown from a small plot of the estate’s very best vines, which is fermented in a mixture of stainless steel and French oak, and then aged in oak (90% new) for up to 18 months.
The Spanish conquerors introduced vinifera vines to Chile, and with them the establishment of vineyards for winemaking, in the middle of the 16th century, and the area around the capital Santiago has a history of winemaking stretching back nearly four and a half centuries. By the middle of the 19th century the Chilean wine industry was well established, but was making fairly rustic fare and it was a well-travelled local called Silvestre Ochagavia Echazzarreta who, in 1851, brought a French winemaker and a cargo of vine cuttings back from his travels to France and set a new era in motion.Robust domestic consumption kept demand, and tax revenue, high in the 20th century until domestic drinkers turned away in the 1970s and 1980s and many vineyards were pulled during the unsettling political upheavals of the former decade. The return of democracy stimulated investment and growth and a forward thinking, export oriented industry pointed to a brighter future.Quality begins, absolutely in the vineyard. In the last ten years Chile has begun to plant vineyards not just by matching variety and climate, which it has done very well up to now, but by mapping and analysing soils before planting. This new generation of soil-mapped vineyards planted in the last decade, with higher density, rootstocks and drip irrigation, or no irrigation, is now just starting to bear fruit and will revolutionise the quality of Chilean wines.Chile became first known for its cheap cabernets and merlots made from high yields in the fertile, warm, flat, flood-irrigated Central Valley. However, Chile is no longer a cheap country to buy from. Its economy is based on copper. It is the world's largest producer. Booming demand from China has seen its currency, the peso, strengthen, much like the Australian dollar which has been buoyed by its mineral resources. Labour for the wine industry is becoming more expensive and scarcer as it has to compete with the highly profitable mining industry which can afford to pay more. Energy costs have risen rapidly. It is estimated that half the vineyard area of Chile, about 62,500ha, is less than 15 years old. It probably takes 8-20 years to pay back a vineyard, and about 30 for a bodega. In Spain one can buy lovely 60-year-old-vine garnacha from co-operatives in Calatayud or Navarra at very cheap prices. The capital costs of the vineyard and winery have long been absorbed and the old vines offer lovely quality too.There are massive viticultural possibilities. This remarkable 3,000-mile-long country includes all the world's climates apart from sub-tropical and tropical. Grape varieties need different climates to prosper and Chile can accommodate them all.Many of Chile's cheap wines came from the flat, fertile and warm Central Valley, ideal for ripening large crops of very good entry-level wines. Before the advent of drip irrigation only these flat vineyards were suitable for flood irrigation. However, these flat lands were also situated in a warm climate and had fertile soils. The availability of drip irrigation allowed the planting of the cooler and less fertile south facing slopes, and availability of rootstocks allowed a greater diversity of soils to be planted.From Elqui in the north to Rapel in the middle of the country the rainfall increases from 90mm to 550mm. This lack of rainfall means Chile is free from most fungal diseases and has some of the healthiest grapes in the world. Water reserves from snow in the Andes, and the advent of drip irrigation (a vine needs about 700mm a year to survive) has allowed cool south-facing slopes, with less fertile soils, to be cultivated and yields controlled. From Maule down to Bío-Bío rainfall increases from 550 to 1,500mm and there are many unirrigated vineyards here.As well as the north to south dynamic, there is also a huge temperature variation east to west. Dr Richard Smart, a viticulture guru, says that to combat global warming viticulturists should head to the mountains or to the coast. Chile has both. More vineyards are being planted in the Andes mountains up to 2,000m, where average temperature decreases by 0.6°C with every 100 metres of altitude. The coast, cooled by the 14°C Pacific Ocean, has spawned a remarkable recent growth in vineyards. First came Casablanca (1982), then Leyda (1998), swiftly followed by Limarí (2005), Elqui, Aconcagua and Rapel. In between, the Central Valley and its offshoots like Apalta and Peumo are much warmer and are typically ideal for carmenère, and the southern Rhône varieties which are starting to appear, or for ripening large crops of cabernet and merlot to make cheaper wines.If Chile has successfully understood the matching of climate with grape variety, what it did not do, until recently, other than by accident, was to match the climate and variety with the right soil. There has been a step change in the quality of vineyards planted in the last 10 years or so. Knowledge about the soil following scientific analysis, appropriate planting density, choice of rootstocks, excellent clonal and massale selections of grape varieties, ability to plant cooler and less fertile south-facing slopes with the advent of drip irrigation (flood irrigation can only cope with virtually flat land) have all conspired to revolutionise the quality of vineyards planted in the past decade or so.For a more detailed examination of Chile and its regions please go to our How To Buy Chile section of our web site.
"This was lovely. Deliciously fruity nose and just the right hit of acidity on drinking. I bought this as I'd had a non-Wine Society bottle from the Limari region so wanted to try this to see if it measured up. It did! "
I would recommend this wine
"This was lovely. Deliciously fruity nose and just the right hit of acidity on drinking. I bought this as I'd had a non-Wine Society bottle from the Limari region so wanted to try this to see if it measured up. It did! "
I would recommend this wine
There are no press reviews for this product.
"Easy drinking with a touch of minerality alongside the fruit. Well balanced good value everyday SB. "
Mr Bob White (24-May-2020)
"When NZ Sauvignon was first around, the catchphrase was “cat’s pee on a gooseberry bush ”. That would be a fair description of this, though I think it’s a bit lighter and drier than some of those NZ behemoths. Not to my taste but well-made & the friend I shared it with loved it, hence 4 stars. "
Ms Sue Perks (06-Dec-2019)
"This is a consistently good easy drinking choice."
Mr Kevan A Jones (07-Apr-2019)
"Had 2 bottles of this in a mixed case, still not drunk the second, not sure we ever will, really acidic, thin and unpleasant, a rare duffer from the Wine Soc"
Mr Griff Steer (22-Jan-2019)
"Very consistent and reliable. Cool green apple flavours with a slight citrus tang. Incredibly good value, our standard house white."
Dr Gordon Lewis (18-Jan-2019)
"I love this wine. I have tasted a good number of Sauvignon wines and this is my absolute favourite. To me it is dry, fresh and fruity and goes with all the food I eat as well as being very drinkable before food. I must admit to being a vegetarian so perhaps this may influence the wine I like. I have, so far, found all other Sauvignon Blancs disappointing in comparison, even more expensive ones."
Dr Elizabeth Perks (07-Oct-2018)
"My first wine from the Society. Super dry but not sharp. Leafy and a bit fruity, getting a bit more fruity as it warms up. Quite complex and sort of interesting but rather dry and not particularly nice. Later it became a bit metallic which was not an improvement. Somewhat disappointing to be honest."
Dr Andy Rawlins (12-Jul-2018)
"Not much of the new world Sauvignon Blanc about this one. Lacking in flavour and aroma, thin and overly acidic. Very disappointing."
Mr Bob White (02-Apr-2018)
"Very well flavoured Sauvignon Blanc, not to be served too chilled. Very zesty, almost fizzes on the tongue."
Mr Neil Perry (30-Dec-2017)
"The 2016 Chilean Sauvignon Blanc is excellent. Lovely citrus flavours and freshness without overt acidity. Really very surprised at how good this was - especially considering the pricing point and comparable 'factory' Sauvignon Blancs from NZ and S Africa available from the usual suspects at similar prices.
I've had the 2014 Talinay Sauvignon Blanc which I think is from the same vineyard - this wine has a lot of similarities (same winemaker I believe) but at half the price.
Will be ordering a lot more!"
Mr Matt Wilks (25-Oct-2017)
Mr Robert Hudson (12-Aug-2016)
"We were given a bottle of 2014 vintage for Xmas 2015 & found it a delightful wine in taste & rich golden colour - but when trying to order more, were told it was sold out. Thus we bought bottles of 2015 vintage, only to find it lighter in colour & taste. Gut instinct says this wine could well improve over the coming months - so we are keeping them untouched until at least Xmas this year, & maybe longer. Although if it does rival its 2014 counterpart we may have a struggle to leave them alone."
Mr Peter Gordon Smith (21-Jan-2016)
"I bought my first case of wine from the Wine Society last week. I've been in most societies over the years and have been disappointed. I buy most of my wines from supermarkets and occasionally Oddbins and Majestic, but I thought I'd get try some Society wines for Xmas. I checked on Google and the Wine Society came out tops.
I've only opened 1 bottle - Society's Sauvignon Blanc at £6.95. Its the best I've tasted. I'll be buying some more."
Mr John Izat (13-Oct-2015)
"Outstanding value and a delight to drink"
Miss Georgina Churchhouse (05-Mar-2015)
"You just can't go wrong with this delightful wine. At £6.95 it's a real steal."
Mr Anthony Southern (18-Jan-2015)
"I am a little disappointed with the 2013 vintage compared with earlier years."
Dr Anthony Kallend (10-Jul-2014)
"Zesty, with a floral note to finish. Good value for money. Will buy again."
Mr Simon Hookey (08-May-2013)
"Both my wife and I are big fans of not only Chilean wine but of Sauv Blanc too and this did not disappoint. Not as over-powering as many combinations of new world and Sauvignon, I found it reasonably light, easy to match with food and very pleasant without being too dominant or perfumed.
And at the price, I think it very good value for money."
Mr David Paterson (05-Jul-2012)
"Bought this and was depressingly disappointed. Wont be buying it again, ever."
Mr Alex Hankinson (29-Jun-2012)
"Bought two bottles to top up an order. Served it at dinner last night, fearfully. Great relief , my wife has told me buy again."
Mr Donald Gorst (06-Jun-2012)
"It's good to see that this wine has attracted so many favourable reviews. If you like New World Sauvignon Blancs, then you shouldn't miss this - bearing in mind, of course, that it has huge flavour and 'takes no prisoners'. Having access to everyday wines like this at modest prices is one very good reason for belonging to the Wine Society."
W G R Stevens Esq (16-Jun-2011)
"I am ashamed to admit when I find something has a bit too much punch however I have just been overpowered by a white wine costing less than six quid. It's a massive blast of grapefruit and gooseberries with an elderflower nose. Fairly acidic so could go well with pan fried oily fish, salmon, herring etc. There is ample fruit to balance the acidity so if "new world" is your baby then try this wine. Linda Day 22 April and John Moles 28 April have excellent tasting notes to consider. Now where's my Loire wines, I need my old world faithfuls."
Mr Chris Barclay (20-Aug-2010)
"This fruity wine is delightful and versatile; always worth having a bottle in the fridge."
Dr Peter G Watson (06-Aug-2010)
"My reactions are similar to Ms Day's. The initial nose is very distinctive; there is plenty of fruit, which fills the mouth, and the fruitiness is in tension with considerable acidity, which makes it, for us, a food wine rather than a 'stand-on-its-own'. I'm slightly apprehensive that they're going for power and intensity rather than charm. It remains a good wine at a good price."
Mr John L Moles (28-Apr-2010)
"My wife and I, with our son, tasted this wine together and unanimously agreed it represented a very pleasant and refreshing drink for a sunny afternoon in the garden, with some nice nibbles. It has a lovely pale lemon appearance and a pronounced grassy nose that gives way to floral notes and hints of spice. On the palate we variously detected flavours of grapefruit, green apples, gooseberry and sherbet backed up by just the right level of acidity. It had good length and excellent quality for a modestly priced bottle. Buy some whilst stocks last - that's our view."
Mr Iain Maclean (24-Apr-2010)
"The 2009 was different from the previous year in as much as the nose was blackcurrent and gooseberry, but the gooseberry didn't come through and it was much more zesty and acidic and therefore best drunk with food. The previous year in my opinion was more balanced and not as harsh. But for all that its still worthy trying."
Ms Linda C G N Day (22-Apr-2010)
"This wine is excellant value and is delightfully friuity and crisp on the palate as an aperitif. Equally, it is most enjoyable with an omelette or fish dish in it's capacity of being a light wine."
Mr Rowland Cole (20-Apr-2010)
"I am in a U3A Wine Tasting Group; 11 of us meet once a fortnight and take it in turns to act as host and choose the wines. Recently, one of our members, who is also in The Wine Society, chose a selection of red and white wines, including this Sauvignon Blanc, which all of us, without exception, particularly liked. It had a wonderful bouquet and was bursting with flavours of tropical fruits, as well as being excellent value for money.
We then had our annual Wine Tasting Group dinner in a local hostelry, where we were able to take our own wines, and decided to have all our wines from The Wine Society, including this Sauvignon Blanc. As I am also a member of The Society, I ordered an extra case of this delectable wine for our own consumption! We are drinking it both as an aperitif and as an accompaniment to fish dishes."
Mrs Juliet M Henderson (19-Apr-2010)
"Simply a delightful clear fresh and balanced example of Chile's signature white wine."
Dr Iain Black (14-Apr-2010)
"This has become our 'house white'. Excellent value and - having done the research - streets ahead of the supermarkets and other merchants for a similar wine of this price. We drink it both as an aperitif and with food. Delicious!"
Mrs Alison Read (14-Apr-2010)
"An excellent value wine, ideal for just drinking on it's own or with fish and white meats. Has a lovely balance of acidity and fruit with a hint of lemon zest."
Mr Jeremy R Gull (14-Apr-2010)
"I think this is the star buy in whites,I eat a lot of fish and the wine matches that perfectly.Another plus for me is the screw cap closure and of course the price,not as pungent as New Zealand Sauvignons and better value for money."
Mr Colin J Greenwood (13-Apr-2010)
"A very refreshing and reliable wine suitable for all occasions."
Mr Alan M Duff (13-Apr-2010)
"A great surprise - fresh and exciting - a foretaste of a Summer to come. Just the thing to liven up a dismal Spring."
Revd Preb A Talbot-Ponsonby (12-Apr-2010)
"This is a very versatile wine being good both with and without food. I enjoy it most before a meal.
It needs to be served cold from the larder and not icy from the fridge, so that it will have its typical fruity zing and be a lovely sharp clean mouthful. Just the wine for drinking with friends on my Dartmoor facing terrace in the summer evening sun - if we get a summer !"
Dr Jane Richards (11-Apr-2010)
"Leyda Valley's Sauvignon Blanc has become my preferred version of the grape. It's more relaxed than the classic french versions and not as exuberant as the kiwis like Wither Hills. So it goes with most food and it's a good aperitif. The price is a bonus."
Mr Martin Yarnit (11-Apr-2010)
"This is an excellent value for money wine. It can be enjoyed on its own, which makes it a hit with 'unexpected callers'. I also enjoy the wine with fish and seafood.
It is very refreshing and a good choice for summer evenings in the garden.
A good all-rounder."
Mr David Soulsby (10-Apr-2010)
"It is a pleasant Sauv Blanc that bears all the characteristics of the grape - fresh, crisp with gooseberry and grass aromas. Although not particularly complex or long in aftertaste it is nevertheless wonderful value for this quality of wine. A stock starter for that starter seafood dish at any party."
Mr James Campbell (09-Apr-2010)
"Excellent with fish. Good value for money."
Mr Alan Grimsley (09-Apr-2010)
"I think the Societys Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, Leyda Valley is excellent. It has a slight zing on the tounge which I really like.
I feel it is better than a lot of more expensive New World Sauvignons. Not too keen on the label."
Mr Michael Hartley (09-Apr-2010)
"This wine had nice colour and all the right sauvignon characteristics of balanced dryness and depth but I was put off by what I can only describe as a slight fizz on the palate. I cannot define this more precisely and try as I might I can't see any hint of 'liveliness' in the glass either. I was hoping for a wine similar to the truly excellent Vista Hermosa Quintay '08 which was one of the best and best value wines you have offered for some time but I am afraid I was disappointed.."
Mr Colin Evans (09-Apr-2010)
"A very enjoyable, refreshing wine at a sensible price. A repeat order confirmed our initial opinion."
Mr S E McCabe (09-Apr-2010)
"This is a fresh and characteristically "gooseberry" tasting wine, but not overly so. There is just the right amount of sweetness to
balance the acidity. As always it is important to drink it chilled but not cold to allow the free flow of flavour.
Good value in a climate of rising prices."
David J Johnson (09-Apr-2010)
"We found this to be a lovely gooseberry flavoured wine. Smooth and full tasting. Ideal just before or with a meal.Thoroughly enjoyed this wine and would definitely buy again. Highly recommended and great value for money."
Mr Michael Aldridge (21-Feb-2010)
"I think this is one of the 'stars' of the Society's range of white wines - crisp enough to match any oily fish and with a smell redolent of gooseberries.
Mr Stuart Davidson (04-Jan-2010)
"This is a real family favourite: we keep coming back for more. Can't recommend it highly enough.
John G Hooper Esq (03-Sep-2009)
Scotland on Sunday (7th Sep 2014)
sauvignon from Chile keeps getting better as illustrated by the grassy
gooseberry flavour on display here and the wine’s zingy, lemon-centred acidity. - Brian Elliott"
South Wales Echo (1st Mar 2014)
"... great value …
intense yet easy-drinking sauvignon blanc … packed with gooseberry, lime and a
hint of tropical fruit. - Andrew Campbell"
Chichester Observer (7th Mar 2013)
"From the Leyda Valley, this crisp, lively bottle offers herbaceous and gooseberry tastes and a nice aromatic scent. A good partner for fish or poultry. - Peter Homer"
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