Santa Carolina Barrica Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2003

Wine: Santa Carolina Barrica Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2003

Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon (100 percent),

Region: Valle del Maipo, Chile

Vintage: 2003

Price: $ 7.99 per bottle.

In the Glass: This wine is a semi-opaque garnet red color with a fine deep core going out into a slightly tinged rim definition with medium-high viscosity.

On the Nose: Classic Cabernet Sauvignon character with freshly crushed cassis bush, blackcurrant pastilles, a bit of stalkiness, blackberry coulis and good underlying earthy minerality with hints of oak.

On the Palate: After a bit of volatile acidity “burns off,” there is good crushed black currants, loganberry sorbet, cranberry and slightly under-ripe red cherry character as well as oak references and crème de cassis through the midpalate. On the finish, the wine lingers with red fruit, showing good delineation between acidity and tannins, ending in a soft mouthfeel.

Odds and Ends: A fairly high-end version of a good Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon with solid fundamentals and quality behind it. Valle de Maipo is the most fertile in Chile and always produces great value and overachieving wines, much like this Santa Carolina which is very well priced. Drink this through 2009 and try it with a medium-rare Filet on the grill with Béarnaise Sauce.

Gil Lemert-Schwarz wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89016-0749, or e-mail him at gil@winevegas.com.

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