While Chile's cross-Andean rival Argentina rides a Malbec wave to rapid success, Chile continues to move more methodically. With an expanding vineyard base and an increasing range of bottlings, Chile is banking on diversity for its long-term growth as a major wine-producing country.
Since my last report on the country ("Chile Cools Off," May 31, 2010), I have reviewed nearly 450 wines in blind tastings in our New York office. Of those wines, 48 earned outstanding ratings (90 points or higher on the Wine Spectator 100-point scale). Exports to the United States in 2010 were up slightly through October (for which the most current numbers are available) and looked likely to surpass the 7.3 million cases Chile sent here in 2009.