Chile has made great strides in its wine quality and diversity over the past 20 years, often offering good value in comparison to more established regions. (See Wine Spectator managing editor Kim Marcus' tasting report, "Chile's Big Red Machine
," in the May 31 issue
.) Along with the flagship Cabernet Sauvignon bottlings and blends, the French variety Carmenère has found a niche and is often touted as the country's signature red grape, while Pinot Noir is shining in cool-climate regions. Among whites, Chile's Sauvignon Blancs have become more distinctive, and the Chardonnays more focused.