Descorchados was published for the first time in Chile in 1999. That was back when the Chilean wine scene had just begun to awaken through new grapes, new areas and new interpretations, so Descorchados was fortunate to appear at that time and portray that energy. We tasted some 600 wines that year, all Chilean. Today, we have expanded to cover the wines of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, the four key countries in the production of wines in South America.
For the 2018 version, we had a total of about 4,500 samples, which allows us to have a pretty panoramic view—a great wide-angle photo—of what’s going on with wine on this side of the world.”
First, I should say that we feel that objectivity does not exist in the world of wine (or in many other worlds as well), and apart from the technical aspects of quality related to a well-executed technique, everything else is subject to discussion, which in simple terms means that what I like, as the author of the Descorchados, does not have to please you. In this guide we do not offer averages—the opinion of many palates that would supposedly give us the truth about a bottle, the verdict of the average. No. We don’t believe in that. What you’ll find here is the opinion of one person, with all of the subjectivity that that implies. It’s not the truth; it’s just a vision.
There are two parts to the Descorchados tasting process. First, we meet with most of the producers in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay and taste the wines with them, something like an interview. Because time constraints make it impossible to interview or visit them all, sometimes we ask for samples. These tastings aren’t blind and allow us to enrich the tasting notes of the wines that truly stand out. We like the idea of going beyond a merely gustatory description to tell you about where a wine comes from, how it was produced, and a bit about its history. But while this part is amazing and entertaining, in the second stage we put all the top-scoring wines together and taste them again—blind this time—without the presence of the producer and with very little information about the samples—usually just the origin and the grape. This allows us to adjust the ratings and, very importantly, to taste them together with other wines of similar style, origin, or grape. We love the idea of context.
Our Editorial and Commercial Policy
At Descorchados, the editorial and the commercial areas are independent and do not intersect. We invite the wineries to participate and register their wines on this web site and, once the tastings are finished and the scores are set, the commercial department invites them to publish a label or bottle in the pages of the book. The winery’s decision to publish—or not—has no affect whatsoever on a wine’s score or whether it will be published in the guide.