This months Wine Blogging Wednesday, #52, is brought to us by Tim Lemke over at Cheap Wine Ratings. He asks us to review Chilean Value Reds, preferably under $20 but even better if it is under $10. For my wine I chose the 2006 Casa Lapostolle Cabernet Sauvignon from Rapel in the Central Valley of Chile. I am sure most of you have heard of Casa Lapostolle, especially now after their 2005 Clos Apalta Colchagua Valley was #1 on the Wine Spectator Top 100 list. At 200,000 cases annual production and distribution to over 70 countries, it is a good bet that your local wine shop has a bottle of Casa Lapostolle in stock.
Rapel is known for both its Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. The soil in Rapel is sandy with patches of loam and clay, and a majority of the vineyards lie on low to steep sloping hillsides. The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of primarily Cabernet (85%) followed by Carmenere (6%), Petit Verdot (6%) and Cabernet Franc (3%). Due to the “coldest” vintage in 7 years, the ’06 harvest saw extra hang time in the vineyard in order for the grapes to reach proper maturity, before it was hand harvested in April. Yep, April, just when North America is seeing their bud break, South America is harvesting. The oak program for the wine was modest at just 6 months for 70% of the wine which went in to used barrels, while 30% was aged in stainless steel.
My Tasting Notes –
Nose – Blackberry, red currant, bacon and peppermint
Taste – Blueberry, cedar, green pepper, black cherry and leather
Mouthfeel – medium to full body with fuzzy tannins
Finish – long with lots of fruit left over and bigger than expected tannins
I sipped this wine with a dinner that I probably wouldn’t usually pair with Cabernet Sauvignon, although it worked quite well. I made a bacon, mushroom, cheddar veggie burger with a side of tator-tots. Weird I know, but the “meatiness” of the burger and “bacon” combined with the savoriness of the sautéed mushrooms brought out the best in this Cabernet. The dark fruit was definitely first and foremost on this wine, but the nice meaty undertones with hints of leather added enjoyable layers of complexity on this $15 bottle.