Cono Sur’s top reds – Ocio Pinot Noir, Silencio Cabernet Sauvignon

Well done to Chilean winery Cono Sur for being the sole wine sponsor of the Tour de France (click HERE for details). But even weller done (?) to chief winemaker Adolfo Hurtado and his team for making what could be South America’s best Pinot & Cabernet…

Cono Sur Ocio Pinot Noir 2012, Casablanca, Chile (£35 Harrods, Hedonism, Roberson, Wine Rack)
Very closed on Day 1, with earthy/grippy but ripe tannins in evidence, black fruit flavours that were almost more Cabernet than Pinot in style, but then as it opened up, more of the deep plush black cherry character kicking in. On Day 2 (when I did the video), the tannins had retreated further, leaving an exotic, confident wine brimming with supple cherry and berry fruit, a wonderful velvety texture and a fresh, juicy finish. Yum. G-

Cono Sur Silencio Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Maipo, Chile (Not yet released, ~£50)
Combines classic Cabernet leafiness and dark plummy fruit with the dusty warmth of Chile, and adds in notes of Mediterranean herbs too, oak aging has rounded out the tannins, but there’s still a bit of earthy grip and chewiness which augurs well for the future. Grown-up stuff, caressing you rather than assaulting you, concentrated but fresh, broad shouldered but slim waisted, just a great wine. G


The other Cono Sur wines I tasted with Adolfo were:-

Cono Sur Sparkling Rosé NV, Bío-Bío, Chile (£9.99 Tesco, Asda)
A refreshing glassful of simple, honest strawberry flavour with a toasty note and a gentle, juicy finish. B-

Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir 2014, Central Valley, Chile (£7.49 Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Co-op, Wine Rack)
Looking better than it was a few years ago (Adolfo acknowledges there might have been a dip in quality ~7-8 years ago as demand rose and new vineyards came onstream), this has tender  red berry and cherry flavours backed up by an earthy tannic grip. Excellent value. B+

Cono Sur Reserva Especial Pinot Noir 2014, San Antonio, Chile (£9.99 Morrisons, Waitrose, Ocado)
A darker deeper style, still with svelte fruit, but here it veers more to black fruits – blackberries, black cherry – with a touch of plum too. Lovely texture of silky tannins, again a great price. S(-)

Cono Sur Single Vineyard Pinot Noir Block 21 ‘Viento Mar’ 2013, San Antonio, Chile (£13.99 The Wine Society,, S H Jones)
Takes the deep plush fruit of the above and adds in notes of spice and firmer tannins – not a louder wine, just one with more layers, and very impressive too. S

Cono Sur 20 Barrels Pinot Noir 2013, Casablanca, Chile ( £19.99 Morrisons, Asda, Waitrose, Ocado, Tesco, Wine Rack)
Combines broad fleshy fruit – again those black cherries, to the fore, with red berries in there too – with a wonderful silky note, truffley overtones and lithe texture, Chambolle Otago if you like. Serious and seriously tasty. S+

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