Wine Review: Aresti Special Release Reserva Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc

Reviewer’s Note: Samples of the wines discussed here were provided at no cost in exchange for my honest review.

Chile’s Aresti Winery sent us two examples of its Special Release Reserva collection. One bottle of Aresti Special Release Reserva Pinot Noir 2014 came accompanied by a bottle of Aresti Special Release Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2016. Run by two sisters, family-owned Aresti Winery has produced respected wines for 65 years, and if what I poured for this review is any indication, its reputation is well-earned.


Aresti Special Release Reserva Pinot Noir 2014

This medium-bodied Curicó Valley wine is made with 100% Pinot Noir grapes. It pours light ruby-colored and clean. Along the lower glass rim, its bouquet braids comforting baking spice aromas like nutmeg and allspice into an emphatic pronouncement that here there be blackberries, while near the upper rim, strawberries, raspberries, and cassis await appreciation.  On the tongue, strawberry and raspberry notes fall to Earth where they meet blackberry, at which point the trio strut their flavorful stuff on a faintly oaky runway with touches of vanilla. Its tannins are smooth, hewing mild with just enough grip to appreciate its presence. Lurking at the edges of this wine is a whiff of smoke and minerality that blends well with the fruit to produce a jam-like finish that pleases. Serve this wine on Valentine’s Day or enjoy it on your next quiet dinner at home with smoked meats, grilled or smoked fish, or firm cheeses.


Aresti Special Release Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Born in Chile’s Casablanca Valley, this Sauvignon Blanc brings aromatics of tropical fruit and flowers to the table. Leading with pineapple and lime with a touch of lemongrass, it fills the glass with the palest yellow-green hue as those powerful fragrances call to mind sunny, early-Spring picnics, and pleasant discoveries in unexpected places (think of that little shop or bistro you’ve driven past a million times, but recently strolled into for the first time). Light-to-middling in body with 12.5% alcohol by volume, it possesses substantial acidity that puts forward the best foot of the pear and lemon essences that wash the tongue on sipping, contributing to a tenacious finish from which the pineapple flavor is the last to depart. This wine feels as suitable for adding dazzle to a Valentine’s Day dinner of seafood, shellfish, or grilled chicken or lamb, as for pouring with friends over a lunch of sushi, gazpacho, ceviche, or oily fish like mackerel, served with a salad of microgreens.

Learn more about Aresti Winery at

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