Wine Tasting Video: Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon

Best set of mid-priced Chilean wines I’ve tried in a long time – very little of the reduced blackcurrant pastille character that blights so many of the country’s reds, lots of layers beyond the vibrant fruit, and a welcome absence of brash, winemaker-injected flavours.

Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2010, Valle Central (£7-£7.50 widely available)
(not to be confused with the Casillero Reserva Privada – not sure why they bother to put Reserva on the label, as far as I know, there isn’t a non-Reserva version)
Young, juicy and packed with flavours of liquorice, blackberry and blackcurrants, with hints of tar, coffee and chocolate adding further character. A fuller (and not necessarily better) style than previous vintages of this wine? B(+)

Pirque Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Maipo (£7.99 Marks & Spencer)
Gentle, relaxed and refreshing style of wine, there’s a touch of mint to go with the laid back berry and blackcurrant flesh, as well as a more exotic edge –  pomegranate? S-

Viña El Principal Calicanto 2009, Maipo (£12.49 Majestic – £9.99 if you buy 2)
Nice combination of the blackcurrant freshness, backbone and mint of Cabernet with the more exotic blueberry and boysenberry spice and flesh of Carmenère, juicy and vibrant with some earthy savoury, Mediterranean herbiness to the finish. S-

Cousiño Macul Antiguas Reservas Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Maipo Valley (£9.99 Waitrose)
Juicy and lively, but not too loud that it assaults you, with cherry, plum and blackcurrant flesh and some earthy vanilla and spice notes on the finish. S(-)

Santa Real Medalla Real Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Maipo (£10.99 Majestic – £8.79 if you buy 2)
Classy wine, still young, with some smoky/toasty oak evident, and intense plummy blackcurrant fruit tinged with mint and garrigue-y herbs, all corseted in by a structure of fine-grained tannins and juicy acidity, classy mix of power and presence. S(+)

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