22nd August, 2014 by Gabriel Stone
A London restaurant is flying the flag for Chile by listing one of the country’s most famous wines at what it claims is a record-breaking £850 price tag.
The wine in question is Santa Rita’s Casa Real 1989, the first ever vintage of this flagship Cabernet Sauvignon from the Maipo producer, which appears on the list of two-Michelin-starred restaurant The Greenhouse in Mayfair.
Produced from vineyards in the Alto Jahuel area of Alto Maipo, just to the south of Santiago, every vintage of Casa Real has been overseen by the same winemaker, Cecilia Torres.
Marc Piquet, sommelier at The Greenhouse’s parent company MARC, which owns restaurants in London and the East Coast of the US, suggested that this was a record price for a Chilean wine in the UK.
Commenting on the decision to list it, he said: “We are very proud indeed for having this mythical vintage on our list especially from such a small release. It is in the philosophy of The Greenhouse to source the best wines for our customers.”
Expressing his belief in the quality of Chile’s top wines, Piquet continued: “The symbolism of what it represents on our wine list is that Chilean producers do have a complex and rich understanding of making great wines and those great wines can be aged and sit next to wines from the best terroirs in the world.”
The Greenhouse list price sees Casa Real prized considerably above many of the world’s most famous wines, including Bordeaux second growths Château Pichon Longueville Baron 2000 at £650 and Château Léoville Barton 1986 at £450.
The same money at The Greenhouse would buy you Château l’Eglise Clinet 1975, Salon 1995, Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage 1982, Domaine Ponsot Chapelle Chambertin Grand Cru 1993, Ornellaia 1985 or a magnum of Trimbach’s Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Emile 1990.
Alongside Santa Rita, The Greenhouse’s Chilean selection features four vintages of Concha y Toro’s top wine Don Melchor, although this is more modestly priced between £155 and £200.
For a full report on Chile, look out for September’s issue of the drinks business.