Paradiso Shiraz 2010 Central Valley

15 Apr 2011 by Jancis Robinson

Last Friday, when I was up to my eyes tasting 2010 primeurs samples in Bordeaux, we did not publish a wine of the week. Did anyone notice? Did anyone care? Should you have any views pro or con, do please express them in the comments box below - though for the moment, only Purple pagers can access the comments box. We may change this. Views...?
 
£6.99, reduced to £4.99 (or £4 if six assorted bottles are bought)

Find a wine like this

This has to be one of the best bargains in a British high-street store today, let alone from next Monday until 2 May, when the price drops by a further 20% if any six bottles of wine are bought from Marks & Spencer.

I was pretty impressed by the bright, breezy Chilean Paradiso Shiraz 2010 Central Valley even at the regular price of £6.99 a bottle, writing the following tasting note then:

'Very deep crimson. Full, rich, smoky and recognisably hot-country Shiraz.  Attractive toastiness. Some sweetness but it's not sickly and the balance is not bad at all. Perhaps the oak is very slightly obvious rather than adding subtlety but this is good value.'

For what it's worth, I gave it 16 points out of 20 and reckoned you could drink it with pleasure any time over the next two years.

But from 4 April the price per bottle has been reduced to £4.99 and, as I say, the wine is also eligible for M&S's 20% off any six bottles offer that runs next week and the week after. If you were to take advantage of this offer, you would effectively be paying only £4 per bottle.

The wine is made by Nicolas Bizzarri and Christian Rojas at the much-improved Viña Luis Felipe Edwards, which has been investing heavily in the sort of better, higher-altitude vineyards shown here (although I would not expect more than a tiny proportion of the blend to have come from these sort of spectacular plantings at altitudes of almost 1,000 m).

LFE_vineyards

The appellation Central Valley tells us annoying little about exactly where the grapes come from. M&S's technical specification is geographically vague but technically precise:

'Made from grapes grown in selected sites in the Central Valley. The low fertility of the soils limits the naturally high vigour of this variety. The harvest was in early April.  Yields were between 10 and 14,000 kg/ha.

'The must was fermented for nine days at 25-26 ºC, the wine was kept on fine lees during malolactic fermentation. A portion of the blend was then placed in oak and back blended to add complexity. The wine has been minimally treated, receiving only a cold stabilisation and a filtration prior to bottling.'

Some might argue that a cold stabilisation and filtration is hardly minimal, but the results are certainly excellent value. The M&S version of this wine contains 5% Petit Verdot, which presumably adds a bit of backbone – though I do wonder why the Chileans are planting Petit Verdot when they already have so much Carmenère and the two varieties seem to add the same sort of streak of greenness and substantial tannin (though see MontGras' winemaker's refutation of this below).

It looks  from the UK importer's specification of this wine that other, presumably non M&S versions of it contain 5% Cabernet Sauvignon rather than 5% Petit Verdot.

This particular bottling is available exclusively at 280 M&S stores in the UK, but the Find a wine like this link is for Luis Felipe Edwards Shiraz 2010.

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Comments

Enjoy your WoW suggestions, don't stop.  Suppose I focus on 50-60 fairly well-trodden appellations worldwide, so it's good to get fresh ideas from a respected source.  For example, loved the Alamaroja Pirita Arribes you found about a year ago in the back mountains of NW Spain - all rocky terroir but with restraint.  Best wishes John Parcell  

18 Apr 2011 21:42 by John Parcell

Looking back over the last 12 months I have bought no fewer than four cases or half cases of wine on the strength of WotW recommendations, so certainly find them useful. (For the record, '09 Grosset Polish Hill, '09 Capbern Gasq, '07 Ridge Santa Cruz and '09 Dom Hudelot-Noëllat Bourgogne.) p.s. certainly worth opening up the comments box to non-subs IMO.

18 Apr 2011 19:17 by Daniel Brown

Sven, thank you!  The blessed MOVI indeed. 

16 Apr 2011 15:22 by Jancis Robinson

Hola Jancisjust a quick note: I left Montgras in 2005. I am on my own making, POLKURA now. A member of MOVI salud! Sven

16 Apr 2011 00:39 by Sven Bruchfeld Engel

Yes,  I checked for wine of the week daily from 8th April onwards.  I too tried the Slovenian Sauvignon Blanc and returned to buy several more while it was still on offer.

15 Apr 2011 23:52 by ALEX SINCLAIR

I missed wine of the week as well - don't stop it!

15 Apr 2011 21:58 by Nicholas Miller

I'm having the Biferno Riserva as the red at my birthday party tomorrow night - I enjoy the wines of the week, a good mix of everyday and luxury, widely available and more esoteric.I was also surprised when you mentioned a few weeks ago you thought people weren't that interested in your Trimbach review.  As Bordeaux prices head to the stratosphere I'm more interested than ever in your views on Alsace and Loire wines.  I'm certainly more likely to buy Baudry and Amirault 09 than Lafite, Latour or even Lagrange 2010 in the next few months.

15 Apr 2011 19:40 by Nicholas Donovan

Thanks so much for your thoughtful insights on Petit Verdot v Carmenere, Sven.  I think it worth pointing out that Sven is winemaker for the admirable MontGras in Chile.

15 Apr 2011 14:13 by Jancis Robinson

I missed it last week and generally try to buy a bottle or two of anything you recommend.  The Slovenian sauvignon was something I would never have brought without a recommendation and it is a little gem.

15 Apr 2011 13:51 by Nick Kernoghan

I reckon Petit Verdot may be THE secret to lift mid range Chilean wine. Adding 5-15% of PV to say Central Valley Cabernet could make a huge difference for that category. Chile laks personality in that range and PV can change that. I don't think CArmenere is the answer here. At <GBP5,- you need high yields to make a profit and with high yields, Carmenere doesn´t always taste good. (i know general rules are not always that general). In any case, PV I find a much better option as a blender than Carmenere.Cheers,Sven 

15 Apr 2011 13:15 by Sven Bruchfeld Engel

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