Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

New Worlds Apart

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

New Worlds Apart

Article excerpt

Byline: andrew campbell ON WINE

CHILE has really got the hang of this wine-making business.

They've had plenty of practise but only in recent times have they started focusing on quality as much as quantity. And that's good for all of us because many reckon Chile has some of the world's finest locations or, as the French would say, terroirs, for growing highquality grapes.

Terroir takes into account everything from a vineyard's soil and rock type to micro-climate and aspect and anything else that may influence a grape's development. Add to that an influx of foreign investment and expertise and Chile's almost unique status of retaining centuries-old root stock unaffected by vine plagues, the country is unsurprisingly producing some of the world's most exciting and best value wines.

Of course there have been other new kids on the block and New Zealand, with its acclaimed sauvignon blanc, was once talked about in very much the same way.

So I start, not for the first time, by indulging in a heavyweight bout between two stars of the Chilean and New Zealand wine industries.

in the New Marea Blanc 2014 Zealand corner is the country's most decorated producer Villa Maria, which continues to pump out high-class wines year-after-year.

Their ubiquitous entry-level Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2015 is well-rounded and is typical of New Zealand's famous Marlborough region. Aromas of lime and passionfruit with hints of melon and tropical fruit herald ultra-smooth, grapefruitdominated flavours. It's a good, well-made, easy-drinking white but arguably a little predictable - which some see as a problem with sauvignon blanc while others regard it as a virtue that's helped turn it into one of the world's most popular varieties.

Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc is widely available and is reduced to PS8.39 a bottle at Waitrose until October 13.

In the Chilean corner is another multi-award winner. Luis Felipe Edwards (LFE) churns out quality, affordable wine under its own label and also under supermarket own brands.

Asda recently began stocking two wines from LFE's premium range Marea, which is named after the company's vineyard in Chile's burgeoning Leyda Valley. …

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