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Spotlight on Chilean winemaker Alejandro Galaz
It's difficult to say Alejandro without going all Lady GaGa and singing Ale-Alejandro. But winemaker Alejandro Galaz didn’t seem to mind when I met up with him last week, for a talk and taste.
Ale-Alejandro works for Chilean outfit Viña Ventisquero, which you possibly know best for the Yali brand of wine.
The company is young, 2011 marking its tenth harvest, but owns a not inconsiderable 1,700 hectares of vineyard, including Chile’s most northerly one, an experiment on the site of a former olive oil plantation, in the Huasco Valley.
I was very impressed with the Chablis-esque Ventisquero Grey Glacier Chardonnay, tasting the 2009 and a barrel sample of the 2010. Elegant, food friendly and mineral, both showed how oak can add to chardonnay, if it is not overdone.
Apart from looking after the white wines, Galaz is responsible for Ventisquero’s pinot noir. The Herú label bucks the Chilean trend for very fruit-forward pinot noir. It has produced at the £20 mark, a pinot of some complexity and freshness, with plenty of ageing potential. Could it be perfect for duck?
The 2008 vintage of Grey Glacier Chardonnay is available for £11.99 and Herú Pinot Noir 2007 for £19.99, both from The Real Wine Company (therealwineco.co.uk).
But you will find Yali Viognier 2010 from Colchagua, is more wallet friendly. It makes for easy drinking, with apricot, tropical fruit and white flowers, delivering plenty of varietal expression.
Meanwhile, in the supermarkets, Waitrose has a new crop of wines on promotion, including a capable Austrian ‘gru-vee’, Domaene Gobelsburg Grüner Veltliner 2009.
Lively, fresh and dry, it has flavours of orchard fruit, green pea and honey notes, with minerals and a pinch of white pepper.
It goes exceedingly well with roast chicken.
Whereas Asda has the perfect foil for roast beef in the shape of Viñalba Patagonia Malbec Syrah 2008, from Argentina. This is rich, ripe and structured, with bramble and black cherry fruit, spiced with violet, liquorice and black pepper.
• Yali Reserva Viognier 2010, £6.39 each when you buy two at Majestic 17/20.
• Domaene Gobelsburg Grüner Veltliner 2009, £7.59 until June 21 at Waitrose 17/20.
• Viñalba Patagonia Malbec Syrah 2008, £8.48 at Asda 18/20.