Chilean Sauvignon Blanc: tasting 18 examples

Sauvignon Blanc is an important grape for Chile. It’s the second most planted variety, with 15 222 hectares.

Things really progressed with this variety when Chile began developing cooler regions, beginning with Casablanca in the 1980s. Pablo Morandé planted the first vines here in 1982, and the region grew quite a bit in the 1990s.


Then the development of vineyards in San Antonio and Leyda took things even cooler, and the Sauvignons got racier and more pungent. The key here is the proximity of the Pacific Ocean, which because of the Humboldt Current is pretty cold.

Other areas well suited to this variety are new plantings in Aconcagua Costa and Colchagua Costa, plus some of the regions in the foothills of the Andes. Going down south is another way to get cool, and there are some interesting vineyards here, although Sauvignon isn’t a major variety there.


This was a tasting of 18 different Chilean Sauvignons, and I came away impressed. A lot of progress has been made with this variety, and there was a significant stylistic range represented here.


Santa Ema Terroir Select Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2021 Maipo Valley, Chile
13% alcohol. This shows ripe, quite generous fruit with pear and citrus fruit as well as a touch of melon and grapefruit. There’s some richness, with a nice mouthfeel, but also some freshness on the finish. Deliciously expressive and rich in fruit. 90/100

Koyle Costa La Flor Sauvignon Blanc 2021 San Antonio, Chile
12.5% alcohol. This is a layered, complex wine with some green methoxyprazine notes meshing well with stone fruits and citrus. It’s quite mineral, with a stony, savoury edge under the fruit, and it has the potential to age. Lovely balance. 92/100

La Rosa Contempo Sauvignon Blanc 2021 Cachapoal Valley, Chile
12% alcohol. Fine, delicate and quite pure. No green notes here: more an expression of balanced yellow plum and pear fruit with some fresh citrus notes, and a sense of freshness and minerality on the finish. Midweight, fresh, balanced and delicious. 91/100

Casas del Bosque La Contera Sauvignon Blanc 2020 Casablanca Valley, Chile
13.5% alcohol. There are some fresh green notes on the nose, but also some tropical passionfruit characters. The palate is quite rich with ripe pear and blackcurrant fruit, and appealing passionfruit and boxwood notes, with layers of rich flavour. 91/100

Tabalí Sauvignon Blanc 2021 Limarí, Chile
12.5% alcohol. Fresh, lively, chalky and expressive with some exotic fruitiness as well as tomato leaf and green pepper characters. The palate has crystalline citrus fruits with a lovely acid line that integrates beautifully into the fruit. This is powerful and quite exotic with a wonderful concentration of flavour and great balance. Finishes fresh and supple. 93/100

Viña Leyda Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2021 Leyda, Chile
13% alcohol. Fresh, aromatic, chalky and mineral with tomato leaf greenness and lively citrus fruit. The palate is precise and pure with lovely focus and a juicy acid line supporting bright, intense citrus fruit with some green herbal complexity and some tropical fruit exoticism. 92/100

Horos de Pirque Albaclara Sauvignon Blanc 2021 Leyda, Chile
12.5% alcohol. Such a vibrant wine with fresh green pepper and tomato leaf aromatics, and intense pink grapefruit and lime, finishing with some chalky texture and a hint of citrus pith. Vibrant, pure and juicy, and really well balanced. 92/100

Luis Felipe Edwards Marea Sauvignon Blanc 2021 Leyda, Chile
13% alcohol. Young vines here (3 years old) so smaller canopies, and as a result the grapes see more sun exposure. This has some ripe fruity flavours – yellow plum, canteloup melon, pear skin – and also good acidity. Lovely depth and texture with broad yellow fruits, but also an intrinsic freshness and sense of vitality. Lovely stuff. 92/100

Matetic EQ Coastal Sauvignon Blanc 2020 Casablanca, Chile
13.5% alcohol. An expressive, layered wine with some grapefruit freshness but also lovely ripe yellow plum and melon fruit, kept fresh by spicy citrus and a some mineral notes. There’s depth to this wine, with a touch of nice green hidden behind the ripe fruit. It’s textural, warm and exotic, but will no doubt age well. 93/100

Morandé Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2020 Casablanca, Chile
13.5% alcohol. This is a ripe but direct expression of Sauvignon with some yellow fruits, even a hint of peach, and a lively crystalline citrus undercurrent. There’s some ripeness here, but it’s beautifully handled and the overall impression is one of freshness allied to rich fruit. Very expressive with lots of character. 92/100

Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2020 Casablanca, Chile
13.5% alcohol. This is a ripe, fruit-driven expression of Sauvignon with pear and citrus fruit as well as some peachy richness, but also some subtle grassy notes and a bright citrus flourish on the finish. Nicely expressive, combining ripeness with freshness. 90/100

Veramonte Reserva Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2021 Casablanca, Chile
13.5% alcohol. From the most easterly part of Casablanca, this manages ripeness really well. It’s entirely stainless steel fermented, with high solids and no protection of the juice during pressing. There’s a slightly chalky edge to the apple and grapefruit nose, and the palate shows ripe yellow fruits, some grapefruit, and lovely texture. It’s bracing and fresh, but at the same time there’s an innate ripeness to the fruit. Really expressive. 91/100

Montes Classic Series Sauvignon Blanc 2021 Aconcagua Costa, Chile
13.5% alcohol. Lovely complexity here with ripe pear fruit, some citrus and a touch of passionfruit. Nice rounded texture, blending freshness with some fruity depth. Has a lovely sense of balance. 90/100

Viña Garces Silva Boya Sauvignon Blanc 2020 Leyda Valley, Chile
12.5% alcohol. This has that bracing lemon and lime Leyda freshness as well as some richer pear, fig and green pepper notes, but it’s more baked green pepper than fresh. There’s a slight creamy richness here as well as the brightness and good acidity. A very gastronomic expression of Sauvignon from one of the pioneers of Leyda. 90/100

Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc 2021 Colchagua, Chile
13% alcohol. This blends together two sites, one coastal and one more inland. It’s a very pure, delicate, well balanced Sauvignon with pristine grapefruit, lime and passionfruit notes, as well as great purity and some chalkiness under the fruit. Very expressive. 92/100

Concha y Toro Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2021 Colchagua, Chile
12.5% alcohol. From a remarkable hilltop vineyard that has influence from the Rapel River it borders, but also the nearby Pacific Ocean. It’s focused and expressive with a lovely layered green pepper and tomato leaf greenness supporting ripe yellow plum and citrus fruit. Lots of flavour here, covering a wide spectrum of Sauvignon-ness. 92/100

Calcu Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2020 Colchagua, Chile
12.5% alcohol. This is 70% Sauvignon, with half the vines grown as bush vines, and 30% Semillon. Stainless steel only. It’s a beautifully complex, open, expressive wine with some chalkiness to the texture and ripe peach, pear and grapefruit notes. It’s really expressive and open, with lovely fruitiness. Fantastic balance here. 93/100

Miguel Torres Las Mulas Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2021 Central Valley, Chile
13% alcohol. This is from warmer regions, and the emphasis here is on generous fruity flavours, with some ripe pear and peach notes as well as some citrus brightness. Rounded, joyful and easy to drink, but still showing good balance. 89/100

Find these wines with