Vina Ventisquero Grey Single Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 | Trinidad Vineyard | Maipo Valley, Chile
This is a very pleasant, easy drinking wine, but I have to admit that at first it was a little disappointing. My problem is with expectations — for many wines, I have expectations. And for this wine, seeing Cabernet on the label, I expected firm tannins, bold acidity, good structure. In short, a big wine. I stacked up a lean filet mignon, broiled rare, to pair with it, and it fell on its face, turning into sweet grape jelly juice. However, once my expectations left, I tried it again the next evening. After 24 hours of breathing, and tasting it again without food, the wine showed much better. It has a spicy nose of vanilla, licorice / anise, cloves, wet earth, tobacco, bell pepper, black and red berry fruits — quite complex, and enjoyable to sniff. Similar flavors flood the palate, finishing with a good balance of tangy acidity and mild tannins. Refreshingly, there's no heat at the end despite all the ripe fruit upfront. On its own, this is enjoyable and a wine I will drink again. However, to me, it's not what I expect from Cabernet Sauvignon; I think it's the tannins missing that make it incomplete for typical food matching. Don't get me wrong — it will match with food, but go leaner than you would normally with a Cab. Instead of beef, go with barbecue chicken or roast turkey; I might even try this with a strongly flavored fish dish (crispy salmon? blackened catfish?).
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Disclosure: I received this wine as a press sample