At this urban winery located in the city of Santiago, Wine Enthusiast's Contrbuting Editor, Michael Schachner, sits down with the commercial director and chief winemaker to talk about post-earthquake renovations and two top bottlings.
Viña Santa Carolina Winery was founded by Luis Pereyra Cotapos who named the winery after his wife, Carolina Iñiguez. Santa Carolina Vineyards is part of Carolina Wine Brands, one of Chile’s main winemaking groups boasting over 135 years of history making them one of Chile’s oldest vineyards. Santa Carolina vineyards are located in some of the best wine growing regions throughout Chile including the Casablanca, Leyda, Maipo, Rapel, Cachapoal, Colchagua and Maule Valleys. Santa Carolina wines are produced from over a half dozen various varietals (including Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Malbec, Syrah, Carignan, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc) and are available in four different lines. Our Santa Carolina wine reviews indicate their range of lines from their value Specialties and Reserva de Familia lines to their higher end VSC and Herencia red blends. The latter two are can typically be found atop our Santa Carolina wine ratings. To see which wines are best suited for you check out our Santa Carolina wine guide below.
Probably the best-eve wine from Santa Carolina. It’s rich and earthy, but also shows pure fruit and just a mild hint of fresh herbs. Saturated and broad on the palate, with a nice mix of sultry fruit flavors and savory notes. Refined but robust; classy and elevated. 2,000 cases made.
There’s a lot to like about this dense, deep, lush and totally ripe blend of 60% Petit Verdot plus smaller doses of Cabernet, Carmenère, Malbec and Mourvèdre. It glistens in the glass and shows plush aromatics and generous flavors of berry, plum, chocolate and spice. Toasty and smooth on the finish. Drink this excellent blend now–2018.
Dark as night, with mildly leafy, herbal, varietally appropriate aromas of olive, earth, tea and black fruits. The palate is big but nicely chiseled, with good acidity and tannic support for roasted berry, plum, fig and peppery flavors. A smooth, correct high-end Carmenère. Drink now through 2013.
Santa Carolina’s Reserva de Familia red wines from 2007 are vastly improved from what the winery has done for the past two decades. This wine—along with the RdF Cabernet Sauvignon—show immense color and fruit, but also balance, structure and a friendliness that can’t be mass produced. This wine is loaded with cassis, cherry, cola, mint, toast and bacon. And for $15…
Rich and complex from the start, the nose and palate of this wine feature a fruit melange of mango, melon, banana wrapped in nicely integrated oak. For some, the acid may be a touch high but this keeps the wine bright and crisp, and sustains this fairly full, barrel-fermented wine’s long finish.
One of the best Santa Carolina wines in years. The nose is big and floral, with tons of plum and berry. The mouth is packed tight and tastes great, with ripe cassis and a lot of chocolate to back things up. Finishes chewy and broad, with mocha and vanilla accents, yet there’s still enough acidity to keep things moving. Very nice wine for the money.
This particular wine is fast becoming one of Chile’s go-to Carmenères. For the second year in a row it impresses with a heady nose of black fruits, pastry and cola. After that, you get a palate full of spicy, rich baked berry, dusty pepper and smoked meat. As a whole it offers character, structure and kick.
Graphite, deep black fruit, earth and cola aromas make for a full-force, inviting entry. The palate feels lifted and healthy, with a thorough blend of tobacco, herb, barrel spice and ripe berry flavors. Toasty, spicy and long on the finish. High quality for $20 Cabernet.