Wine: Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon
Grape: Cabernet sauvignon
Region: Colchagua Valley, Chile
Availability: Vons, Smith’s Food and Drug, all wine retailers
In the glass: Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon is a deep semi-opaque purplish-red color with a dense core going out into a fine crimson rim definition with medium-high painted viscosity.
On the nose: There is serious concentration emanating from the glass with ripe crushed black fruit dominated by creme de cassis, blackberries, loganberries, soft sweet currants, followed by jammy licorice-laced plums, phenolic compounds, oak references, spices, tobacco leaf and earth-driven minerals.
On the palate: This wine is a big mouthful of spiced black currant juice, true to the classic Chilean cabernet structure within, and then layered soft blackberries, mulberries and elderberr ies, leading into a seamless midpalate that is just ripe with black fruit and hints of mint and black tea. This well-made wine is big, full-bodied and heady with a serious backbone, yet so supple and fine in the tannin structure, giving it a smooth character leading into a long finish that lingers on with black currant pastilles and sweet tobacco notes.
Odds and ends: Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon is produced in one of Chile’s oldest wine estates by one of the foremost families in the wine world: the Rothschild family of Bordeaux, France. With a pedigree like this, one would expect to pay a farm for a bottle, but in reality it is one of the best values on the market. When I first started out in the wine business 25 years ago, this wine was my everyday drinking red wine. I still appreciate its quality and the fact that when you have something this good, don’t mess with it. The Los Vascos estate is large enough to produce ample quantities of wine for export as well as the domestic market. The winery uses all French oak barrels for the vinification and that is undoubtedly part of its elegance and finesse. Under the direct supervision of the Rothschild family, Los Vascos offers a taste more commonly seen in wines at 10 times the price. This is your go-to wine for a great piece of grilled meat, such as rib-eye steak. It is young at the moment and should offer fabulous drinking quality for at least a decade.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89106-0749, or email him at email@example.com.