Following on from yesterday’s tasting of the Montes Alpha Special Cuvee Cab- this bottling is their top offering in the varietal. Super rich, dark purple hues in the glass with very thin, long legs. On the nose there’s a deep blackberry reduction with coconut and graphite. On the palate this wine is very silky: black fruits over a bed of smooth oak and very integrated tannins. The wine is very balanced with some midpalate acidity that mingles with black cherry, blackberry and more iodine. The finish is not overly dry- the tannins very gradually fading over a good 60 second period. The fruit lingers almost as long with a touch of spice, cinnamon? This wine is young but drinkable, maturing till 2035 I think. 93 points for this very tasty, rich offering that I paid $62 for. 5 stars. Salut….
I walked into a wine shop in Hong Kong and was pushed aside by a woman on a mission. Five minutes later she checking out with three First Growth Bordeaux- Lafite, Latour and Mouton. My measly purchase paled in comparison to the thousands she spent. I digress… I have always been a fan of Chilean Cabernet. So, this is the first of two that I bought. It banged a whopping 94 points from one pro, it says so on the label. Let’s see how we get on.
In the glass it is a nice rich deep purple with just a hint of legs showing. On the nose it is very minty and chock full of black fruits, iodine and charcoal. It’s actually not my favorite profile. On the palate it is rich and flavorful. The kind of richness that covers your whole mouth. Lovely plums, blackberry and flint. There is a touch of mint as well as black olive. It’s quite complex and well made. The mid palate shows some very integrated tannins and black fruit compote. The finish is long, dry and very fruit driven. There is an ample amount of tannins but they are not obnoxious, merely present and persistent. The finish is medium length and finishes very dry. This wine is a touch young, but will do well in an aerator or decanter. Drink till 2030 at least. I think it gets a legit 93 points and for the price of $23 it gets 5 stars from me. Salut….
Yesterday was a little bit of a let down with the basic Los Vascos Cab. This property is a well respected Rothschild winery in Chile. As such, I opted to go back and try their Grand Reserve offering, in hopes of a better showing that suits my particular taste desires, and has higher technical components than the basic wine.
First thing I noticed was today’s Reserve wine has a real cork, versus synthetic. A good start. The wine is not overly dark, but a pleasant purple in the glass. On the nose- a whole different story. Black berries, rich mocha, fig on the nose. The palate is more plum-like but the black fruits are still evident. There’s a slightly obscure, astringent quality that hits right up front. Once over that I’m settling in to the gentle mouthfeel, moderate tannins and tangy acidity. The mid and finish are a little darker with coffee bean, black cherry and an oak tinge. Overall, much better. 89 points and 4 stars for this $15 effort. Grilled meat, Moussaka or even hearty pasta would pair nicely. Drink now till 2020. Salut….
Medium purple with a bluish hue. Dammit, that sugary, oaky nose that I really dislike just hit me. Red sweets, twizzlers and cotton candy. On the palate- pretty much the same but with some decent acidity to brighten things up. Very lithe tannins are barely perceptible. This wine is the quintessential bbq drop. Easy to quaff, bright fruit, pleasant enough and capable of pairing with smoked or charred meats and sweet/tangy sauces. It’s not my cup of tea but should appeal to many. Drink this 86 point wine in the near term. $8 all day long make this a 2 star wine. Salut….
Dark purple. Nice nose of dark currant, mint and oak slivers. On the palate it is a pleasing wine with freshness, good dry tannins and flavors of Ribena, plum, bitter chocolate as well as a meaty note. The tannins really kick in on the mid palate and the finish. The wine is full bodied, full flavored and not shy about its structure. It is somewhat tilted toward the tannic end with hardly discernible acidity at this time. I think this wine needs some cellaring for a year or two to mellow out just a touch. I’m going to be pessimistic and go with 90 points but I think it may improve. If you must drink it now pair with Lamb Shanks and Couscous or maybe a seasoned T-bone on the charcoal. I paid $12.80 each for two bottles on sale. Regularly $21. 4 stars. Salut….
Bright purple. Oaked up nose of blue berries and green peppers. Not my style as it has a strange tinge to it. Much better on the palate with some plums, blue fruits and some mint. A slightly green mid palate with sharp acidity comes through midway. Mild tannins and a shorter finish. 86 points and 3 stars for this $8 offering. Salut….
Yes 2003, it’s not a typo. It was brought over by friends for a party, I was not sure how to embrace this wine. At $8 back in the day it was a serviceable red from Chile that got hammered by WS with 77 points, ouch. I decided to open it and prayed for the best. The cork crumbled halfway through the extraction, not a good start. I coaxed the rest out and sorted the debris from the glass after I poured. My initial impression- Cherry and blackberry nose, still fresh (surprisingly). This wine was probably not stored in pristine conditions, yet I was about to discover a vibrancy I was not expecting.
Bright purple in the glass it showed no signs of aging, remarkable. Lovely black cherry and black berry notes with great acidity and some nice tannins still lurking around. Thoroughly enjoyable and quite young with a nice finish. The bottle did show slight sediment, but then again this wine is 11 years old and not built for the long haul. 89 points and drinking till 2017 perhaps? 5 stars for such a valiant effort to age gracefully. Wish I could find more! Salut….
Ps. I accidentally deleted the photo of this yummy Chilean Cabernet. However, I just read the latest Wine Spectator and they featured the same wine, 2013 vintage. Priced at $12 it got 89 points. I may take a punt and stock up on some of dat! Cheers.
A wine with great pedigree from Colchagua in Chile yet it failed to impress me. It was on special, 3 for $28, regularly priced at $14. Plum and oak on the nose from a very dark purple glass made for a promising drop. Unfortunately it was tart and thin on the opening leaving me puzzled. I did manage to get some plums and eucalyptus on the palate along with some very basic tannins. Black berries finally showed up on the mid palate with a certain sourness that was a little too unbalanced for me. I initially gave this wine 86 points, but after opening the other two bottles I think I may have had some bottle variation. Final verdict- 87 points and 2 stars overall. I plan on re-tasting this one. Salut….
A bargain for $9, but only if you like the style in which it is made. Me, not so much. It started out with sweet plums and cherry cola on the nose supported by a generous dose of oak. Merlot makes up the majority of the blend in this Chilean wine and gives it a youthful plum profile on the palate with a high degree of acidity. Very slight tannins give an easy to drink mouthfeel, yet the wine is over oaked with lashings of wood and vanilla. It is a casual drinking bottle that may appeal to many as an aperitif with some nuts, olives and bruschetta. I am going with 84 points and 2 stars. Salut….
The fourth wine in our tasting, the Reserva Merlot from Colchagua in Chile. A decent bottle, but not really sure where they come up with calling it a reserve wine. Lots of blue fruit and a nice nose give way to a basic Merlot that is pretty well balanced and has a gentle tannic structure. Not for the long term, it will bring instant gratification to a party and not break the bank. In the mouth, the Merlot is tasty, in that South American kind of way. I did not detect any off-balance, but the lack of much acidity makes me wonder if this wine is able to last past…… Who knows, just get some to pop and pour- you won’t be disappointed. 3 stars from me and potentially an 86 point wine if they ever score it.