- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Veramonte, Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo Valley, 2001, $10

Marked by deep, dark berry flavors, enhanced by a briery undertone, this wine offers remarkable bang for your buck. It’s hard to imagine a better $10 cabernet.

Chile’s Maipo Valley is home to many red wines made from traditional Bordeaux grape varieties. If some taste thin and vegetal, that’s only because yields in the vineyards sometimes are allowed to get too high. With careful crop thinning, wines from central Chile are capable of delivering wonderfully complex and nuanced flavors. They can hold their own with the world’s best in all price categories.

Although the elite Chilean wines, costing upwards of $50 a bottle, can be delicious, they inevitably face stiff competition in the marketplace. Value-priced wines such as this one stand out. A comparable-quality cabernet from California or Australia would cost twice as much.

Although this wine does not have the tannic structure for long aging, it should provide tasty sipping for a few years.

It will be a great partner for winter-weight stews and braised meat dishes, so savvy shoppers will want to stock up now that cold weather is on the way.

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