While it's common to find the top wines in the world to receive unanimous, high 90+ ratings from the major wine critics, it's relatively uncommon to see this for value wines. Particularly, those from Itata in Chile. Yet, here is one such gem. See the glowing and consistent reviews from 91-93 pts below. If you love red blends (like Bordeaux) and you like to try new wines and travel the world of wine from your home, grab some of this wine before it's gone.
Felipe started PS Garcia in 2006. After working for larger wineries, he made his first independent wine as a declaration of what he considers true “Chilean” wine. Inspired at first by old-vine Carignan from Maule, he since has started two of Chile’s most influential small producer movements today: MOVI (Movement of Independent Vintners) and VIGNO (Vignadores de Carignan).
This is a unique red blend that shows the spirit and history of Itata – Chile’s oldest winemaking region.The wine is an other-worldly blend of of 43% Syrah, 40% Carignan, 7% Petit Verdot, 7% Mourvèdre and 3% Grenache. Think of it as a mini-Chateauneuf du Pape with a touch of Petit Verdot thrown in, because, it's Chile. The name Bravado means brave and we all need that these days!
Tasting Notes: Inviting on the nose with notes of ripe red fruit, blackberry, blueberry, and a hint of spice. It hits the palate with incredible balance that lasts through its long finish. It has fruit at the core with an acidity from the Carignan that lifts the wine on the back palate.
Pairing Notes: Pair with cherry-braised short ribs, barbequed flank steak, or grilled portobella mushrooms.
Felipe Garcia makes this wine from two vineyards. One is young-vine syrah; the other is carignan, grenache, mourvedre and petit verdot grafted onto the 120-year-old roots of país vines. He ages it in old neutral-oak casks for 18 months, and there’s no indication of wood in the wine; there’s just fragrant and delicious fruit, along with chewy, savory tannins. It reminded one taster of a clearing in the forest, and the fruit does last with a cool, foresty tone. It’s a mood-changing wine, and if you’ve ever spent time in Chile, or in its much more highly populated corollary, the California coast, it’s sure to make you happy. ~93 Wine & Spirits
I tasted an unbottled sample of the 2016 Bravado, a blend of 43% Syrah, 40% Carignan, 7% Petit Verdot, 7% Mourvèdre and 3% Grenache. It has a fantastic and lively palate with very fine tannins and bright freshness. I'm sure this is going to be a monumental bottle of Bravado that Geddy Lee would be proud of.
Garcia + Schwaderer changed its name to P.S. Garcia in 2018 to reflect the change in ownership, which is Felipe García (50%), Patricio Mendoza (40%) and his son, Sergio Mendoza (10%). They are focusing on Itata, Maule and Casablanca for Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. There are also some new sparkling wines this year. ~91-93 WA
I am touting this as one of my greatest values of the year, despite it touching the $20 limit for that designation and suffering from low availability. This beautiful wine hails from the Itata Valley in southern Chile, one of the first places Spanish missionaries planted grape vines in the 1500s. The blend is syrah, carignan, grenache, mourvedre and petit verdot, from vines planted more than a century ago. With that blend, you might expect a monster of a wine, but this is light in body and lifting in aroma, with Bing cherry, sagebrush and a saline character on the finish. It’s a bit cerebral; it wants your attention. And, if you decant it an hour or more before dinner and hold back some for the next evening, your patience will be rewarded. ~3/3 Washington Post 92pts ~Descorchados
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