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Maipo and Colchagua are two of probably the most noteworthy winegrowing areas in Chile, and whereas they’re comparatively shut (each being in Chile’s Central Valley) they’ve dramatically totally different climates. (Maipo comprises a number of the coolest winegrowing places on this planet, whereas Colchagua is comparatively scorching, and whereas Maipo options largely volcanic soil, Colchagua is described as a “patchwork.”)
Lately I had the prospect to check cabernet sauvignon wines grown in each areas, three from every, to see if there have been any commonalities and, extra importantly, if one area was clearly higher. Whereas vintages range a bit for these wines, the comparability is instructive.
Let’s begin with Maipo:
2017 Lazuli Cabernet Sauvignon Valle del Maipo – Wealthy and unctuous, you’d be forgiven for assuming this was a California cab, loaded with currants and an fringe of black cherry — plus delicate notes of leather-based and tar that give the wine some heft. It’s fruity properly into the end, mildly spiced with a sweeter word of strawberry on the end. A- / $45
2016 Echeverria Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley – Dense and wealthy, that is one other traditional California-styled cabernet, big with notes of currants and blackberry bramble, tarry and a little bit smoky — and loaded with unctuous gravitas. Chewy and mouth-filling, the wine evokes blueberries, tempered with a splash of Port wine and a contact of rosemary, on the end. A- / $25
2018 Miguel Torres Cordillera Cabernet Sauvignon Valle del Maipo – A powerfully beefy wine, you possibly can simply assume this was carmenere, not cabernet. A little bit air time helps issues quiet down, but it surely stays a closed-off expertise, blackberry bramble pushed apart by notes of pepper and tea leaf, earlier than an unctuous, jammy character finishes issues off. B / $20
And transferring on to Colchagua:
2018 TerraNoble Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva Valle de Colchagua – A comparably easy wine, natural and earthy notes mingling with dusky notes of canned cherries and a few light baking spice — however not a lot. Issues get quick on the end, with a somewhat tart character that feels a bit undercooked. B / $20
2018 Los Vascos Cromas Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva Valle de Colchagua – Largely an easy wine, with notes of licorice and milk chocolate in impact, a bit gummy with — once more — that maraschino cherry word informing the marginally saccharine end. The conclusion feels quick and a little bit tight, a bit chewy with hints of toasted coconut and extra chocolate. Positive, however properly in need of immersive. B / $22
2018 Maquis Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua Valley – Extra similarity right here, with a frivolously inexperienced, barely skinny character that comes throughout as a bit beefy — although not extremely so — over time. Delicate however fairly fruity with a rhubarb-edged raspberry character dominating, and quick on the end. B / $20
Whereas the winner (primarily based on this admittedly small comparability) is clearly Maipo, that daring, aggressive, California-like fashion isn’t for everybody. Followers of extra approachable bottlings could very properly gravitate as a substitute to the milder building that Colchagua supplies.