The 2008 Andes Peaks Select Chardonnay from Chile’s Central Valley is the best white wine in a box I’ve ever tasted and quite different from the dilute, saccharine offerings one often finds at this price point. Andes Peak is affiliated with the Viñedos Emiliana Company. This inexpensive Chardonnay [equivalent to less than $5 per 750 ml bottle] falls in the crisp, clean, high acid camp. If it has any significant exposure to oak, it’s in the background. And the high acidity suggests it has undergone little, if any, malolactic fermentation. But these are not faults. This wine is fresh and clean from the nose to the palate to the finish. It has a modicum of pear-like Chardonnay fruit that gives it just enough flavor. If one is seeking a sweet, oak-infused Chardonnay, stay away from this boxed wine, but if the goal is a slightly fruity, crisp and dry everyday wine, definitely consider the Andes Peak Select Chardonnay Valle Central. Box wine is a bit like screwcaps used to be—not very chic, but the Greens amongst us should like its low carbon footprint [relative to heavy glass containers] and the Consume Report readers amongst us will like the fact very little goes to waste, since the wine can easily last two weeks when refrigerated. Adding to the wine’s environmental friendliness is its certification for sustainable agriculture from the Institute for Market Ecology based in Europe. The importer is Banfi Vintners.
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