The first thing we’ll tell you about January host Pedro J. Rodríguez and his best friend and business partner Julio R. Robledo is that they're Puerto Rican and Chilean respectively. From there you’d understand why the duo center their celebrated D.C. wine shop Grand Cata around the tastes of Latin America. So as they continue on their mission to have the world fall in love with Latin wines, this January selection is all about bottles that celebrate Chile's vines and over 400 years of winemaking lore. Read about each bottle below:
- Villalobos “Conejo” Semillon” | Colchagua, Chile; white, semillon: The nose has wild fresh green herbs such as rosemary and basil with undertones of waxy minerals and a touch of apricot and pineapple. The palate has a great minerality and complex core of stone and tropical fruits. Drink chilled but not too cold. Pairs well with hearty mushroom risotto.
- Vina Echeverría “No es Pituko” Viognier | Curicó, Chile; white, viognier: You’ll find notes of peach, white flowers, and tropical fruits; plus a palate that is clean with a slight creaminess due to some malolactic fermentation. It does not see any oak, so it’s just a pure expression of this Rhone variety shining in Chile. Pairs well with Chinese duck with a side of seasonal vegetables.
- Huaso de Sauzal "Chilena" | Maule, Chile; red, pais: The pronounced aromas of dusty dark cherries, plums with hints of dry rose petals, hibiscus, fresh spices, and licorice will keep you on your toes. The palate is round and earth-driven, and the acidity and mineral concentration keeps this wine alive so you can enjoy it 3-4 days after opening. Decant is strongly recommended, so is pairing with slow-roasted brisket and yucca fries.
- Gustavo Martinez “Koupin” | Itata Valley, Chile; red, carignan: The wine is fleshy with lively mineral dark fruits, herbs, and expressive acidity that cleans your palate with every sip. Drink slightly chilled and let breathe for 30-45 minutes before enjoying it. Pairs well with Puerto Rican pastelon, the island version of lasagna.
- El Grano Carmenere | Rapel Valley, Chile; red, carmenere: This is a terroir-driven wine with real character, the nose expresses greenery in abundance: green bean, berries, and mint. There is a satisfying, highly digestible savory bitterness in the mouth with a spicy but fresh finish.
- Viña Laurent Arrogante | Maipo Valley, Chile; white, sauvignon blanc: In 2008 the couple behind Viña Laurent purchased land in the Maipo valley where they established 4 hectares of mostly Bordelaise varieties, including sauvignon blanc. This is a softer, subtle sauvignon from Chile that’s a great compliment to salads and vegetables, and a nice everyday table white.
- Viña Laurent Corrupto | Maipo Valley, Chile; red, cabernet sauvignon: This cabernet sauvignon is ruby red in color, with a nose that presents aromas of strawberries and ripe cherries along with soft notes of caramel. On the palate it feels fresh and juicy, with a smooth structure, sweet tannins, and a smooth finish. Where Arrogante is the ideal everyday white, this is your can’t-miss daily red from the same winemaking team.
- Viña Echeverría “No es Pituko” Rosé | Curicó, Chile; rosé, pais: The “No es Pituko” line of Viña Echeverría is home to wines that are all wild fermented. This is a sharply dry rosé made fully of pais, an old grape that’s been grown in Chile since the earliest days of Spanish colonization. Bright notes of cranberry and hibiscus with a razor-like finish of wet stones. This is simply delicious, and begging to be drunk immediately. Some even recommend giving the bottle a little shake before opening.
Want to stock up on more bottles from past Eater Wine Club months? Shop by the bottle.