March 21, 2007

Cono Sur 2005 Rapel Valley Pinot Noir, about $10

Chile isn't the first place that comes to mind when someone says "pinot noir." But if Cono Sur has its way, that may be changing. Winemaker Adolfo Hurtado recently told Joshua Greene in Wine & Spirits magazine that he plans to make about 230,000 cases of pinot noir in 2007, making Cono Sur possibly the largest producer of pinot noir in the world.

The winery is 14 years old, but its wines have just begun to show up on U.S. shelves. Hurtado's proudest wine is Ocio, a high-end pinot noir made with the input of Burgundian vintner Martin Prieur of Domaine Jacques Prieur, but his best bargain is the basic Rapel Pinot Noir, a juicy, clean, cherry- scented red with pinot character at an amazingly low price.

Imported by Vineyard Brands, Birmingham, Ala.

This first appeared in the Denver Post.

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