J. Bouchon’s 2021 Canto Sur (95 Points – Decanter; 92 Points – Tim Atkin; 90 Points – Vinous) emanates from old dry-farmed vines in Chile’s Maule Valley. To preserve the wine’s delicious fruit, all of the grapes (a blend of 50% Carmenère, 25% País, 25% Carignan) were hand-harvested and fermented with native yeasts in concrete tanks in this authentic expression of Maule Valley’s unique terroir. Brilliant in color with violet notes, the 2021 J. Bouchon Canto Sur dazzles the eye and beckons the taster to dive right in. And, one draught of this fresh and vivacious wine is all one needs to know that this is no ordinary, bland varietal offering. Savory scents of red and black fruits, hints of black pepper, and dried herbs grace the nose. Blackberry, raspberry, and wild cherry flavors infused with a cache of wild herbs fill the mouth and glide gleefully down the throat on a bed of ripe, gentle tannins. J. Bouchon’s 2021 Canto Sur is a wine for all seasons to enjoy with abandon or to linger over as it slowly reveals gratifying hints of exotica. For optimal enjoyment, we suggest serving this delicious field blend at cool room temperature (58°-64° F) after a few minutes of aeration. Anticipated maturity: 2023-2026. Enjoy!
J. Bouchon’s 2021 Canto Sur is a wine to enjoy on its own or with a fine meal where it can fully reveal its vivacity and wealth of charming flavors. Enjoy this splendid field blend with beef, lamb, and pastas. Pasta Bolognese, paellas, veal stew with couscous or faro, and tasty white and black bean dishes provide especially gratifying accompaniments. Traditional Chilean dishes such as Tomatican and Pastel de Choclo also provide ideal accompaniments to J. Bouchon’s 2021 Canto Sur. Tapas and other Mediterranean specialties provide additional flavorful options to pair with this wine. Cured Virginia ham with a bit of spicy brown mustard and a side of wilted greens makes another attractive complement, as will a selection of mature cheeses. Enjoy!
J. Bouchon’s 2021 Canto Sur, an artful field blend, offers an ideal accompaniment to many kinds of cheeses. Rich Cheddar, Beemster, aged Gouda, and creamy Havarti are just a few of the many cheeses that pair beautifully with J. Bouchon’s savory Carmenère, Carignan, and País field blend. For more on superb wine and cheese pairings and to experience the world’s finest gourmet cheeses, join us at www.cheesemonthclub.com. Enjoy all the best in fine wine and cheese!
It is no secret that a dozen grape varietals dominate the international wine market, often to the detriment of thousands of other vinifera grapes, many as worthy as the chosen few. This is especially true of wines from old, dry farmed vines, many of which yield delightful, often exotic wines from grapes such as Carmenère, Carignan, and País. In the hands of an experienced winemaker such as Julio Bouchon, such wines are not only interesting and unique, they are downright delicious.
Emile Bouchon and his family emigrated from Bordeaux to Chile in the late 19th century. Today, Emile’s progeny, Julio Bouchon and his children carry on their 4th generation family winemaking tradition in Chile’s Maule Valley. With terroir-specialist Pedro Parra and the family’s in-depth study of the land, the Bouchons are preserving the historic character of the Maule Valley by crafting exciting wines from very old dry farmed vines of País and other underrepresented vinifera vines to considerable acclaim. Julio Bouchon has been named one of the 10 top winemakers in South America by Decanter, the United Kingdom’s most significant wine publication, for his work with lesser known grape varieties such as Carnenère, País, Carignan, and Semillon. He uses no irrigation and works extensively with older vines, many of which are over 100 years of age. Canto Sur, a traditional blend of Carnenère, Carignan, and País is Bouchon’s signature wine, and this month’s feature.
A native of Spain, País, also known as Mission, first made its appearance in Chile in the 16th century with the arrival of Spanish colonists. For centuries País was the most widely planted grape in Chile. It was not until the 21st century that Cabernet Sauvignon overtook País as Chile’s leading grape variety. Yet, in spite of its status among the Chilean populace, País has remained little known outside of its adopted land. País is an extremely vigorous grape variety that requires little water or care to thrive. If allowed to grow wild, as it often does in Chile, it can climb trees and nearby structures and yield more tons per acre than almost any other grape variety. However, much like other vigorous dry, hot weather varietals such as Carignan, Carmenère, Grenache, and Zinfandel, País produces wines of exceptional character from older vines when strictly pruned to limit yields. Although lighter in color and tannin than other drought resistant, warm weather grapes, ancient País vines that are properly tended yield delightful, vivacious wines, often with alluring, exotic flavors.
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