Errázuriz Aconcagua Costa Pinot Noir 2016

Errázuriz Aconcagua Costa Pinot Noir 2016, Chile, 13.5%

(£15.50-17, indies inc Stone Vine & Sun, Ocado, Oxford Wine Co, Eton Vintners)

Last night at the Lanesborough Hotel in London, Eduardo Chadwick was officially crowned Decanter Man of the Year 2018.

It was a typically showy, enjoyable occasion – but built on many years of hard graft by Chadwick, who has tirelessly championed the cause of fine Chilean wine around the world, as well as his talented team across the globe, from inspired Errázuriz head winemaker Francisco Baettig in Chile to distributors Hatch Mansfield in the UK.

This is the first time that Chile has made it into this wine-centric hall of fame – as Chadwick said on the night, ‘This award is for Chile.’ It vindicates the wider quest by Chile to sit at the top table of fine wine, rightly so. (Click on the following link to read Peter’s Man of the Year profile of Chadwick in Decanter magazine.)

Guests were treated to many special wines on the night. Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2005 was dangerously easy drinking. From the Errázuriz stable, perhaps the show-stopper was a Seña 1996 – beautifully evolved and elegant, complex and precise, bursting with energy and savoury, roasted pepper, dried fruit appeal. (See Peter’s notes on the London Seña vertical to compare with other older vintages.)

Susie and I were divided on the two Las Pizarras wines. Both were served from magnums. Susie preferred the Las Pizarras Chardonnay 2015, describing it as incredibly fresh but also imbued with tremendous nutty, savoury complexity. I, on the other hand, was wowed (as I was a few months ago when I tasted it) by the Las Pizarras Pinot Noir 2016 – a haunting, taut wine brimming with tension, energy and precise focus, fuelled by red berry fruit but with incipient earthy, savoury complexity. It’s young (a feature perhaps exacerbated by the magnum format) but so full of potential, it’s a game changer for Chilean Pinot Noir in terms of its style and ambition.

But both Pizarras wines are pretty spenny (prices vary from £50-80 per bottle). So instead I’m recommending this more affordable Pinot Noir, which still isn’t cheap but has a similarly classy, elegant, tense style and, for my money, outshines many more pricey Pinot Noirs on the market. (Peter, 7.5/10, April 2018)