A Breath of Fresh Air: Casas del Bosque Syrah 2003

by Liz Caskey on September 4, 2006

Last night we had the ultimate wine-food pairing task: Indian food. I find that wine is often shrouded by this highly condimented cuisine so I was at a loss of what wine to choose that would stand up to something as “assertive” as the three curries I had prepared. Since moving to our new house, our wine cellar is still full of boxes, making it near impossible to find anything or even jog my memory what is there! At first (blind) grab, I pulled out a Casas del Bosque Syrah 2003–one of those wines I vaguely remember buying but had forgotten that it was in my collection. I then recalled the glowing reviews Chilean Wine Journalist Patricio Tapia (Planetavinos) had given this wine, specifically the 2003 vintage, which was ultimately the decisive factor in buying it. Well, why not, let’s try it! I had no idea what to expect–just prayed for no hedonistic fruit bombs, overoaking and some minute level of balance. What a surprise I was in for…

I (and everyone else at the dinner) loved this wine, a total delight. One word to sum it up? F-R-E-S-H. It had a fresh aroma with lots of red fruit and those slightly black peppery notes on the nose with a hint of mint that for me are characteristic of these “cold weather” Syrahs coming from that particular cold corner of the Casablanca Valley (like Kingston Family Vineyard’s Bayo Oscuro) or the San Antonio Valley (like Matetic Vineyards). In the mouth, the acidity was mouthwatering and invited me to sip and sip again until the glass had disappeared (very rapidly I may add). In terms of texture, it had enough tannins to stand up to the Indian food but once again, the acidity cleaned the palate and was refreshing from the flavor buzz that had overtaken our tastebuds. My only complaint? I hadn’t bought another bottle! BOOOO!

It is definitely a wine worth trying for its purely pleasurable experience–and is also worth tasting this interesting area of Chilean coastal vineyards.

Oh, and the cost? How about a cool US$10. Oh yeah.

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