This sweet marvel is a real find. Tabali is one of the new stars of Chile from a brand new region far to the north of Santiago in what is practically desert but usefully cooled, like so many vineyards on the Pacific coast, by the ocean. The company was just making this wine for the domestic market when UK importers Boutinot spotted it and thought that it would go down well with British wine lovers.
It’s made from pink-skinned Muscat grapes that are hand picked and dried to concentrate the sugars before reaching the winery. There they are pressed in whole bunches and the free run juice is left to settle for 12 hours at low temperatures. Fermentation is long and very cool, always below 16 deg C, and the result is very pale but sweet and fresh and like a junior version of Chivite’s exceptional late harvest Moscatel from Navarra in northern Spain. There is no point in keeping this wine – but it should enliven the end of many a meal for the next year at least. Alcoholic strength is 14%, presumably thanks to the grape drying.
Tesco have recently introduced halves of this cleanly packaged wine at £5.99 to its top 18 wine stores but the following independents should also have some at prices from £5.99 according to Boutinot:
Woodwinters Wines, Edinburgh - 01786 834 894
Knightwick Wines, Worcester - 01886 853800
Amps Fine Wines, Peterborough - 01832 273502
D Byrne, Clitheroe - 01200 423152
It’s also available in the US at around $12 a half – next to nothing for such an invigorating and explosively grapey mouthful!