Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Memories of Paris return with this classy Pinot Noir from the Southern Cone.

Memories of Paris return with this classy Pinot Noir from the Southern Cone.

Cono Sur Ocio Pinot Noir DO Val de Casablanca Chile 2017, 14% ABV, €60.00 Bradleys

I have a little history with Conor Sur and Ocio, dating from a Friday night in November 2014:

The private boat trip on the Seine was a surprise. We started more or less at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, cruised under the bridges of Paris, the illuminated buildings adding to the magic. A lovely meal and Cono Sur wines enhanced the pleasure. The focus was very much on three reds that evening: the 20 Barrels Syrah and the 20 Barrels Cabernet Sauvignon and, perhaps (even then) my favourite, the Ocio Pinot Noir.

The day had started with the European final Bloggers Recipe cook-off in L’Atelier Beaubourg (close to the Pompidou) with Clare and myself representing Ireland, Anna for Sweden and Johanna for Finland. Some gentle bubbles to ease us into it - loved that Cono Sur rosé - and, with lots of friendly chats going on, there was no pressure.

When the winner was announced late that night on the boat we, the Ireland champions, were pipped for the trip to Chile by Finland. But we did have the most fabulous night in Paris. And we met the Chileans again in Dublin on the following Monday when there was more Ocio, though the focus then was mostly on the launch of their fantastic Silencio Cabernet Sauvignon.

Docking, but still rocking on the river.

Our Ocio, lovingly crafted by a Chilean winemaker and a Burgundian consultant, comes in a beautiful crimson robe, slightly lighter around the edges. Cono Sur’s iconic Pinot Noir has an arresting aromatic intensity expressing fresh notes of red berries, plum and cherries with a touch of spice and tobacco and hints of its 14 months in French oak. In the mouth, it feels velvety and elegant.  Acidity and balanced tannins play key roles in bringing it all together for a lengthy finish. 

This is one of those gorgeous wines that goes well beyond second glass appeal. Very Highly Recommended.

Ocio is a red wine that can be enjoyed slightly chilled, at 14°C. Enjoy it, Cono Sur say, with fresh salads, with red fruit sauces, soft cheeses such as brie, duck, tuna or preparations with mushrooms. We celebrated our 54th wedding anniversary recently and Ocio was the chosen wine and we paired it, quite successfully I thought, with the French dish Boeuf Bourguignon. Both the dish and the wine brought back happy memories of days and nights in La Belle France.

All aboard on the Seine

Cono Sur itself was born around the first Pinot Noir vines were planted in Chile, more specifically in Colchagua Valley. “In the 60s, the region was considered an area with a cool climate and suitable for variety. Being around the first vines inspired us to adopt Pinot Noir as our flagship variety and the goal of producing the best Chilean Pinot Noir was born.” 

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