By Robert Kleffel and Noemí Paz
Viu Manent – Chile
“Viu Manent is the very model of consistency as all of its wines can be recommended and several offer exceptional value.”
—Robert Parker, 2012
When we first read the above recommendation by Robert Parker we investigated this boutique family owned winery. They are producing a wide range of fine wines and winning awards in international competitions. Viu Manent was the top most awarded Chilean winery in 2010. This important achievement shines a spotlight on the Viu Manent enological philosophy that focuses on constantly striving for quality and identity in their wines. Viu Manent is a Chilean winery owned by the Viu family. It was founded in 1935 when the Catalonian immigrant Miguel Viu-García and his two sons Agustín and Miguel Viu-Manent founded Bodegas Viu in Santiago de Chile. They bottled and sold wine on the local market under the “Vinos Viu” brand.
Secreto de Viu Manent—The winery has a high end selection of wines called Secreto. The Secreto (secret) is not only good marketing, it is also good wine making. The result is a line of blended wines made with a primary grape varietal component that is recognized and indicated on the label. In addition, up to 15% of the wine is another grape varietal which is the closely guarded “secret blend”. The “Secreto” range of wines also includes a closely guarded secret related to land, proportions, and balance. Most of the Secretos wines are made with grapes from young vineyards, which help to create a fresh and fruity style.
Secreto de Viu Manent – Sauvignon Blanc—Tasting Notes
This wine is a clean, bright, almost transparent greenish-yellow color. A wine with character, with a delicate and elegant nose marked by citrusy notes of lime and yellow grapefruit, fresh fruit, and mineral tones intermingled with sea salt, white peach and lychee. There is no mistaking a ‘Classic’ Sauvignon Blanc.
Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc tastes young, fresh, a little grassy and tangy. This is a crisp wine that is perfect to pair with green salads topped with goat cheese, chicken, shellfish and pork, or even veal. These wines are also great at cutting through rich buttery dishes, especially ones that contain seafood. Sauvignon Blanc will go great with most vegetarian soups, especially minestrones and simple purées. In fact Sauvignon Blanc is a great starter wine for a meal as it will pair well with many traditional first courses such as soup, salads, antipasto or seafood dishes. Even bold sauces like guacamole or salsa. The high acidity in Sauvignon Blanc allows it to go great with sharp dishes such as crème fraiche, sour cream, yogurt, dill, capes, olives, tomatoes, zucchini and squash.
Secreto de Viu Manent – Carmenere—Tasting Notes
Intensely violet in color this wine exhibits an opulent nose of black cherry, mocha and fragrant herbs. In the mouth flavors of boysenberry and bittersweet chocolate predominate accompanied by ample leather, tar and wild mushrooms. This is backed up by firm yet voluptuous tannins leading to a long, rich finish. Serving temperature: 17 to 18°C or 63 degrees F. Pairing—While highly versatile for pairing with food, we find that Carmenere goes particularly well with dishes that contain the following ingredients: Herbs and spices: oregano, rosemary, and thyme, garlic, fennel, red and black pepper, curry powder, paprika. Fruits and vegetables: olives, black and green, mushrooms, tomatoes, green pepper, eggplant, onion, sweet potato, corn. Meats and Fish: lamb, stewing beef, pork sausage, chicken.