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Friday, 26 October 2012

Caliterra Tributo "Single Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 - Chile

There's little doubt that Phylloxera-free Chile, with some of the New World's most complex and exciting range of terroirs, has the potential to be a great wine-making country.

And yet, and yet ... it often seems to focus overly on making wines for its northern near-neighbour, the USA, with results that are often overly ripe, sweet and primary.

Some say Chile has it just too easy as a winemaking country - maybe so, but a populous, wealthy country on one's doorstep with a fondness for alcoholic grape juice is understandably hard to ignore (especially when one of your Joint Venture partners is Californian behemoth Robert Mondavi).

Over here in Europe, however, we are a bit more interested in texture, restraint and food-friendliness.

This Caliterra Tributo "Single Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 from Colchagua Valley is a well-made wine technically: a dark purple in the glass, with 5 years' age, there is just the merest hint of paleness around the rim.

On the nose there is dark fruit and spice with a hint of roasted coffee. The palate reeks of ripe cassis and sweet elderberry fruit with mocha chocolateyness, liquorice, a pleasant oakiness and some cigar box.

It is big and mouthfilling, with soft, ripe, well-integrated tannins and good acidity.

Long on the palate, the finish is persistent and firm.

So, technically well-made and quite impressive, but for me, stylistically rather too ripe and overly fruit-driven; a bit too New-World-Me-Too, a smart and potentially rather interesting young lady who sadly chose lipstick and high-heels over her A-levels.

Mrs CWB - as is her wont - summed it up much more succinctly: "easy drinking / no thinking".

So, if you like crowd-pleasing Big New-World Reds with plenty of fruit sweetness and a bit more besides, this could be just your thing.

Not an easy food match, but roast leg of lamb often works well with this sort of primary red.

Interestingly, after a few days, the fruitiness fades a little revealing a more interesting and nuanced liquorice and mintiness, like a well-turned ankle.

Uber-geeks may be interested to know that the wine is from the Quillay Block with 6% Carménère and 3% Petit Verdot in the blend; oaking regime is 14 months in 62% American and 38% French with malolactic fermentation.

£10.99 from slurp and independents; provided for review.


Caliterra - http://caliterra.com/
Slurp - website, twitter

Other related articles:

De Martino - a Chilean winery moving to a more European style of wines
More on Chile generally
More on Cabernet Sauvignon

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