($60; 43% carmenere, 39% cabernet sauvignon and 18% syrah) Glass-staining ruby. High-pitched, assertive aromas of raspberry and blackberry, complicated by floral and incense nuances and a hint of smoky herbs. Juicy, palate-staining red and dark berry preserve flavors show impressive purity and pick up sweetness with aeration. Lively and precise on the finish, which echoes the floral and smoke notes strongly. Incidentally, the 2007, which I had the chance to taste twice this winter, both in Chile and here in New York, is showing a wild array of spice-accented dark berry qualities and an exotic note of apricot. It's quite open-knit now but has the depth to age for quite a bit longer.
Every year this wine impresses and scores the same, so give credit to Antiyal for consistent high quality. This vintage shows milk chocolate, leather and char on the nose along with deep berry aromas. The palate is full and lush, with cassis, cherry, berry and a light leafiness. Mildly herbal but that's pure Maipo Valley for you; Carmenère, Cabernet and Syrah is the blend. Drink now–2013.
A solid, grippy style, with lilac, cedar and Kenya AA coffee notes up front, followed by firm, focused flavors of black currant, tar and licorice root. There's a nice tug of loam on the finish. Carmenère, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Drink now through 2011. 505 cases made.
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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration...
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.
In the Glass
High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.
Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.
Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.