The next great thing is always a lot of fun to pursue whether its technology, celebrity, or wine.

Many believe one of the next great things in wine will be Pinot Noir in Chile. Well … I’m still waiting.

Quintay Clava Costal Reserve Pinot Noir $13.99 – I actually liked this Pinot quite a bit. It had remarkably bright red rasberry/strawberry notes on the palate in a light Pinot style.

The grapes come from Chile’s Casablanca Valley and are turned into pretty good juice for the price by Vicente Johnson. eRobert Parker awarded the wine a very respectable 88 points.

(Quintary Clava Coastal Reserve Pinot Noir $13-$17, Recommended)

Tabali Reserva Especial 2009 Pinot Noir $19.99 – When I dislike a wine or open a bad bottle I seldom write about it. After all, I figure most blog readers are looking for the good stuff. But this wine remains a bit of a mystery.

Noting my curiousity about the ‘next big thing’ I’ve wanted to find some good Chilean Pinot Noir. I’ve had several wine friends recommend the Tabali. It’s widely available at a reasonable price for good Pinot Noir.

The bottle I recently opened was so off, with a bit of a chemical taint, that I couldn’t quite tell whether it was the wine or if something had gone bad. Normally, I can figure that out pretty quick.

(Tabali Reserva Especial 2009 Pinot Noir, $19.99, Jury Still Out)

Volatus 2005 Syrah/Malbec Blend, $30.00 – This was a wonderful small-production wine from Paso Robles that rocks huge flavor, nice balance, AND a powerful punch. Wine drinkers who like big flavor, will love Paso Robles Syrah and Syrah blends.

The wine hits your palate with a wallop of dark fruit like blackberry. The tannins hang around awhile for a beautiful finish. You’ll also get some earthiness like you do from all the great wine growing regions.

Volatus would be very tough to find in the Midwest. The reason I include it is to suggest Syrah, Zinfandel, and bigger flavored wines from Paso Robles just rock.

I also include it for those of you who might do wine travel. I joined a Paso Robles wine club. That’s how I got this wine. If you travel to an area and taste great small production wines, find someone that ships to your state and sign up. If you can get it direct from the winery, those folks get more of the revenue. And that’s another good thing!

(Volatus 2005 Syrah/Malbec Blend, $30, Highly Recommended)

Send comment or questions to: hewitthoward@gmail.com

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