Chile is a country of opportunity for us, enthuses Robert Boutflower. It has the potential to create masterpiece wines from grapes that are very familiar to you, wines that are true to type and very composed. There is an elegance and poise about the best Merlot, Cabernet and Pinot Noir, a precision in their Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs. When we decided to enhance and expand our New World entries in the Tanners ‘Own Label’ range Chile was the obvious place to look.
Tanners own-label wines have to be good because the firm’s name and reputation rests squarely on their shoulders. Enormous effort goes into the quality of these wines, after all, they should each be an exemplar of their particular grape or region. It is therefore very pleasing that Tanners own-labels are always among the company’s best sellers. Tanners doesn’t own any vineyards, instead we go to producers who are at the top of their game in their given region, and then blend a wine in partnership with them to a style that we believe our customers will like. None is selected on price alone, each must bring the identity of the region to your table and be a wine you can rely on – after all, they are made by some of the best winemakers in the world!
We first met the team at Viña Sutil almost a decade ago and have been consistently impressed with the quality and standards that we have seen. They are a very good, medium-sized business who have interests up and down the country, covering most of the main wine regions from Colchagua, where they are based, to the Leyda Valley further north and Maule and Bío Bío in the south. There were numerous other ‘hopefuls’ in the line-up last year, but the quality of Viña Sutil’s Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon was well ahead of other samples and seemed the perfect answer: this pair of wines are going to impress you. There was super intensity and flavour in the Cabernet alongside good fruit and purity, while the Chardonnay has a lusciousness and richness that explodes from the glass akin to a much more expensive competitor.