Cono Sur – Not just smart word play!

Cono Sur has only been around for two decades but is a winery that has firmly etched itself into the ‘value’ bin for New World wines, even if competiting with its fellow South American brothers. It’s name isn’t the obvious play on the word Connoisseur. It is literally describing the geographical location of the winery in the Southern Cone (Spanish: cono Sur) of the country. From vineyards planted in the Casablanca Valley of the Aconcagua region in Chile, its Pinot Noir wines are excellent representatives of the grape, and offer insight of terrior if you do a horizontal tasting. Farmed organically, the winery also has wines produced under a promise of ‘sustainable agriculture’. From cheap to slightly more expensive, this label is worth opening your eyes to.

Cono Sur Pinot Noir 2010
$9. This is the kid on the tricycle. The entry level wine is a simple, med-bodied Pinot Noir with aromas of raspberry, plum and strawberry. Slightly smoky. Clean sweet fruit flavours, refreshing acidity and fine tannins. What more can you ask for for under a tenner?! Drink now. 85/100.

Cono Sur Pinot Noir Bicycle 2010
$18. 8 months aging in barrel and 8 months in tank. Med ruby colour. Clean, med+ nose of cherries and strawberries. There is some pretty fruit flavours here that are true to Pinot Noir, but the tannins are a little too subtle for my liking. Drink now. 86/100.

Cono sur Pinot Noir Vision 2010
$18.40. Fruit is from the Leyda Campo Lindo Estate in the San Antonio Valley and spent 10 months in barrel.A med+ ruby colour.  Clean med+ youthful notes of raspberry, cherry candy and rose. Another pretty med-bodied wine with pretty fruit flavours, it’s got a better tannin structure than the Bicycle. Drink now – 2014. 87/100.

Cono Sur Pinot Noir 20 Barrels 2010
$32. A blend of the top 20 barrels from this single vineyard, it’s going to be hard to beat this price for such selection. A clear step up in quality compared to the Bicycle and Vision Pinot Noirs. Clear, deep ruby colour. Perfumed nose dominated by strawberries, then cherries and dark earth. A med+ bodied wine with cherry and plum fruit flavours. Nice clean acids and soft tannins round off a pleasant wine. 14.5% alc. Drink now – 2016. 89/100.

Cono Sur Pinot Noir Ocio 2010
$56 (RRP$65). A final step up in quality and price, the Ocio label is the further cream of the crop slice of the 20 barrels. Med+ ruby purple colour. Clean, youthful med+ nose of blood plums and dark strawberries. Med+ bodied wine with plush rich fruit flavours, but unlike the other wines is much more masculine in structure. There is good cleansing acidity, and the continual trend of soft tannins persists. Nice. Drink now – 2018. 91+/100.

All wines were tasted at the International Wine Fair by Vintage Cellars.


About simplepalatesseriously

I am a neuroscience researcher in Melbourne, Australia with a keen interest in wines of the world.
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