One wine producing region of that world that appears to have been neglected by the wine press is Chile.
Like the wines of its bordering neighbor Argentina, Chile has been producing wines for centuries.
The industry was given a kick start toward modernization by French and Italian immigrants who arrived there in the mid and late 1800’s and another influx during the post World War II period.
Veramonte wines come from the Casablanca Valley in northern Chile, an area which is about as far south of the equator as the Napa Valley is north, so both areas have similar growing conditions.
Both areas are also blessed by the Pacific ocean breezes and rain water running down from mountains; the Rockies in the U.S. and the Alps in Chile.
The Pacific breezes cool the vineyards in the evening and the mountain water, often laced with minerals, results in that mysterious background minerality to the finish of both their wines.
While Californian and Chilean do share some similarities, they are not carbon copies of each other.
Like all wines, the wines of Chile have their own individual signature that is present in all of their wines but, they also have their one noticeable difference; price.
Veramonte wines affordable prices are the result of the lower cost of living in Chile and has absolutely nothing to do with quality.
Another plus with the wines of Veramonte is that all of their grapes are grown by organic farming in which no artificial fertilizers or insecticides are used.
Organic farming is becoming very popular among vineyards around the world, as it relies on natural plants to fill in in both situations.
By doing so, they eliminate the use of chemicals which lowers the final cost and results in more natural grapes and as a corollary, more natural wines.
Veramonte 2018 Organic Carmenere ($11.99)
This grape variety was brought over from Spain by the first settlers in order to make the same red wine they enjoyed in the “old country and to ensure that they had wine for the church.”
It is a wine with a deep red color that exhibits the flavors and aromas of ripe berries, plum, pepper and oak.
The Veramonte Organic 2018 Carmenere has an intensity of flavor found in very few wines and like a cabernet sauvignon it can perfectly accompany red meats, strong cheese and pastas.
For a change in flavor and style, try this exceptional and interesting wine, it will be a sensory adventure and perhaps even give you a new favorite.
Veramonte 2019 Organic Sauvignon Blanc ($11.99)
This wine adds new interest to a variety that has become humdrum in recent years and something extra that many of the other wines of the same grape variety fail to achieve, a silky and creamy texture.
There is the expected grassy, slightly smoky aroma combined with pineapple and citrus.
In the flavor department, this wine covers the complete gamut of all of the possibilities that the grape offers; melon, pear and fig flavors.
What makes this wine a standout is the creaminess and richness that it displays and an underlying mineral flavor.
If you have lost interest in sauvignon blanc in recent years, try the Veramonte 2019 Organic Sauvignon Blanc; you will be pleasantly surprised.
Veramonte 2018 Organic Pinot Noir ($.12.99)
Pinot noir, which is new to Chile, is a most difficult grape to grow and even more difficult to turn into decent wine.
When Veremonte took on the challenge to make wine from this finicky grape they had no idea if they were opening a can of worms or not.
The Veramonte 2018 Pinot Noir passes all of the tests.
It is a very friendly wine that features an exceptionally dark color, a rarity with the variety and the aromas of roses and raspberry jam.
On the palate it is soft, light and has a velvety texture.
The Chilean mineral element even adds extra layers of depth and complexity to this wine.
A very enjoyable wine that offers more than its very affordable price might indicate.
Bennet Bodenstein is a wine enthusiast and book author whose column appears in publications throughout the country.