Tonight’s Occasion: 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (Enclave, Maipo Andes Valley, Pirque) by Ventisquero, Chile
Dark, opaque, plum color. Out of the bottle, nose is a little shy for a Cabernet Sauvignon, with characteristic notes of plum and blackberries. Neither over ripe nor too tart, just right. A dusty, woody leather lingers on the background along with hints of licorice and pomegranate and a touch of cherry cola. Swirling vigorously intensifies and ripens the plum, cherry cola pulls forward as nose fades to a fine dust.
Body is precisely balanced right down the middle, from front to back. A dry, slightly restrained, dark plum greets the palate immediately followed by oak vanilla so subtle you’d likely miss it. This conspires to create a slightly creamy, buttery mouth feel. Faint licorice carries over as well as a touch of cola. Fine grained, dusty tannins precipitate, eventually forming a gentle gradient of well integrated structure. This is a big wine on all accounts but I barely noticed this finely tuned structure. Midway through, a subtle nudge of spice ushers in the transition to finish. As the body slowly fades away like desert rain on a hot summer day, subtle hints of cola, cocoa, warm spice, and dusty tannic grit linger on the palate. After hours of decanting the grip on the palate becomes a dominating force. Body thickens and develops a subtle viscousity. Licorice intensifies and turns from more red to black licorice, holding short of pure star anise.
This Cab exhibits and obsessive attention to detail. It feels like there was a clear vision of what it was destined to be – a thesis, a textbook example of what Cab was meant to look like. Not just from Chile, but on a world stage. No rock and roll here, no over-the-top off-balance notes. Just a quiet focused reflection on the world’s most popular varietal. Chief Winemaker Felipe Tosso and his team have not only created a great wine in the Enclave but a unique opportunity for enlightenment and development of the enthusiast’s palate. The Enclave is one of the best Cabernet Sauvignon I have had yet. Bien hecho amigos!
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