Chadwick: I did the Berlin tasting out of desperation

23rd August, 2017 by Lucy Shaw

Eduardo Chadwick, president of Errazuriz, has admitted that he put on his famous Berlin tasting out of “desperation” as none of the world’s top wine critics were taking Chilean wines seriously.

Eduardo Chadwick of Errazuriz put on his famous Berlin tasting in 2004 out of desperation

Speaking to the drinks business during a recent trip to Chile, Chadwick said: “Robert Parker had no interest in visiting Chile in the ‘90s, which was insulting, so I put on the Berlin tasting in 2004 out of desperation.

“I wasn’t trying to outsmart anyone, but I wanted to see how our wines would score alongside the likes of Lafite, Latour, Margaux, Sassicaia and Ornellaia.

Seña 2015 was given 100 points by James Suckling

“I wanted to put our wines alongside the best in the world and give them a chance without any bias. I had humble expectations and was hoping for one of them to get into the top five.

Chadwick’s humble expectations were surpassed – Viñedo Chadwick 2000 came first in the tasting, hosted by Steven Spurrier, and Seña 2001 came second.

“The tasting helped us gain the respect, attention and curiosity of the critics,” said Chadwick, who went on to repeat it with similar success in Japan and Brazil.

With little interest from the US in the ‘90s, Chadwick turned his sites to Asia instead, where he concentrated on building the Errazuriz brand in a country with no prejudices towards Chilean wine.

The international critic to have paid the most attention to Chilean fine wines in recent years is James Suckling, and Chadwick believes his 100-point score of Seña 2015 was a “game changer” like the Berlin tasting.

“Suckling is changing the way the world looks at Chilean wine,” Chadwick said. “We’ve convinced the critics about the quality of Chilean wine now, the next step is to convince the trade and then the world’s top wine collectors,” he added.

In a bid to do this, Chadwick is inviting buyers from Berry Bros & Rudd, BI Wines and Spirits, Corney & Barrow and Fine and Rare wines to Chile this autumn.

“It’s very important for Chile’s longterm future that we have these wines that play at the top end so we can build our image around them. I’m convinced we are a fine wine player, it’s just taken years to convince everyone else,” he told db.

4 Responses to “Chadwick: I did the Berlin tasting out of desperation”

  1. Charles says:

    The chief problem surely is not the intrinsic quality of his wine which undoubtedly is world class but because people buy the top Bordeaux wines as much as investments as to drink. Remove that element and the whole scene changes. I am not sure those buying for a financial gain see even the best Chilean wines as yet in the same league as the Lafites of this world. Maybe one day they will but not just yet.

    • Seña , Viñedo Chadwick and a small group of top Chilean wines are already being traded in La Place de Bordeaux, and they are gaining in value and appreciation consistently year after year. The Asian market has been actively demanding these wines and those who invest will see financial gains. However , the main atraction is that they offer today great value for the wine lovers and wine collectors vis a vis other renown world-class wines.

  2. Peter Crameri says:

    Who dares Wins! And that is what Eduardo Chadwick did. The longer-term success speaks for itsef but, more importantly, the fact that it was a move that was also a logically commercially successful driven one too. But the top end must always remain (in the interests of Chile) one that maintains a price sense and not become a “tool” that unbalances the economic scale of Chilean wines as a whole. It makes no doubt that Chile has, with great “Terroirs”, great winemakers, ideal cliamtic conditions etc…, the potential to produce some incredibly TOP wines that would often surpass alot of great Bordeaux’s. But that is not what Chile is known for, and nor should it try to capitalize too much on this. It doesn’t need to. It can have one or two “Icons” of course, but the whole business must not depend on it…

    • The Berlin tasting demonstrated that top Chilean wines are in the company of the great wines of the world on a quality perspective. They play a similar role to such of the Gran Crus wines for Bordeaux or Super Tuscans for Italy.The long term success of Chile in the world wine scene will depend on its producers ability to build a sustainable wine industry that generates value added. Quality and image are of paramount importance , and our Icon wines have an important role to play. However, Chilean wines offer today great quality, value and diversity for the advantage of the unbiased and savvy wine lovers. This is true across the range from daily drinking to the Iconic wines . The Asian wine aficionados have recognized this reality and Chilean wines are leading in market share , consumer preference and growth in this most important wine market.

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