Robert Parker gave this Cab 90 points, but I think he was more trying to steer people away from California Cabs. Or maybe he just likes raw meat and earth. Or maybe this wine will be better tomorrow night. For now, I don’t see the 90 points. I love wines from Chile, but this one isn’t quite up to the 90 point threshold. It is fruity and dense, more than most CA cabs, and it does have some tannin structure, is slightly floral, and as I said before, pretty earthy, with a little raw venison, especially on the nose. The nose, while very expressive, isn’t all that pleasant to me – but this is highly personal. I mean, raw meat on the forest floor next to a camp fire might be wonderful to some, just not me. I would have liked more of the floral aspect on the nose and perhaps a better definition of the plum and blackberry that is prevalent on the palate. Actually, on the palate there is also some asian spice starting to come out as it breathes.
In conclusion, I think most things are all about expectations. I expected some of the same wonderful Chilean wine that I’ve had in the past, and Mr. Parker was not expecting so much. Therefore I was let down, and he was impressed. In the end, I think we have the same opinion of this wine. For the 10 bucks I paid, this wine rocks. It is pretty serious and complex, with a lot to offer – especially, as RP says, over a lot, if not most CA cabs of up to 3x the price. We certainly agree on that point. It does open up quite a bit with time, so I would advise decanting for at least a half hour before drinking.
This is a Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah blend from Chile. I really liked the taste of this wine, asside from the almost over-powering smokiness. If that was toned down a bit I would have easily rated this wine 90 points plus. If you pair it with BBQ ribs or something of that sort it might actually drink like a 90 plus point wine.
Garnet with a little purple in color, and an interesting aroma of old musky dirt (like under my grandmother’s old house in New Orleans), cedar, and vanilla. Tasted of smoky spice, chared oak, blackberry, blueberry, very ripe tannins and black plum. Mouth-feel was a journey of lush smoothness, then good acidity kicks in, followed by a nice ripe tannin structure. Finish was toasty oak, spice, and plum peel.
December 10Vinas Chilenas Trader Joe’s – Merlot – 2006
3 buck Chilean Chuck here. When I first opened this bottle I thought it smelled almost as bad as the Cab. It tasted a little bit better, but not a lot. I let it sit for a while and tried it again and much to my surprise, the nose improved a little (although I’m not sure I can describe it accurately), and the taste was much improved. I’ve had much worse wines. I think TJ’s wised up to the high cost of good California grapes/wine and took their business to Chile, where cheap doesn’t necessarily mean bad.
Color is fairly purple and medium in darkness. The nose is kind of cherry-cranberry-cassis and oak… maybe a very light hint of tobacco. Mouth-feel is OK… not big, but not terribly thin either. Rather enjoyable. The finish is mostly cassis and cherry then lingering light tannin and oak.
This wine is certainly worth the $3 bucks I paid, and maybe even worth the extra $3 I wasted on the Cab. I’m not sure it is quite good enough to be my “daily drinker”, especially since we had that Argentine Malbec for $7 that scored 90 points. To us that is a better value… but this comes pretty close in the QPR department. I would probably recommend you try a bottle to see what you think. What have you got to lose? Come back and write about it in the comments, I’d love to hear what you think of it.
Price: $3 (TJ’s)
Let’s call this 3 buck Chuck from Chile. I can understand why TJ’s would want to create a wine from Chile. The region is hot, and produces some great wine for the money. I’m not sure what the overall process was for this venture, but it says it is produced and bottled by Videma S.A.
You know, this might be a spoiled bottle. It smells bad and tastes bad. Or maybe it just IS bad. I also have the Merlot, and it isn’t near as bad, so I think I’ll take this bottle of Cab back to TJ’s and see if they’ll trade for another bottle. If that one sucks too, I’ll just say, OK, this wine just plain sucks. Check out my review of the Merlot.
OK, I’ve traded the bad bottle for a new one, that seems much better. Phew! Alright, let’s do this proper…
Color is medium to dark garnet w/purple. I don’t have a candle at the moment, but I’d say it would light up nicely.
The nose is pretty tight, as would be expected. It ain’t givin’ up much. Maybe some plumb, red currant, and a slight floral aspect. As slight as it is, I’m surprised at how “nice” it is. Maybe its just because of how bad the first bottle smelled.
The taste was also surprising. Mostly raspberries, with a hint of cherry and strawberry, a developing black pepper. Mouth-feel is soft with low acidity and almost nonexistent tannins. Really smooth, and a bit light. The finish is of strawberries and raspberries, lingering black pepper, although slight. There is a slight unpleasantness in there, not sure what it is, but another sip takes care of that.
All in all I have to agree with the few people I’ve talked to about it… “it really isn’t bad”. I like the Merlot better, but this doesn’t suck, to be sure. If you’re on a TIGHT budget, I can’t imagine you could get a better wine at this price. Probably the best wine under $5 ever. If you’re drinking two buck chuck, switch to this set of 3 buck Chilean Chuck. Beware of the bad bottle though! ;-P
November 20Eyzaguirre – Merlot – 2004
A pretty darn good wine for the price. Wine has is wrapped in a burlap sac. From Chile.
It has a really nice color. If you want a romantic candle light wine, this might be it. It also might be a little too dark for that, but none-the-less, a beautiful color. It is medium ruby with a slight orange tint. Really nice.
Aroma is earthy, floral, a little fruity, but also a little chemical – a small amount of wet cardboard. This is not the strong point of the wine, but certainly better than many we’ve tried.
The taste is quite interesting, and could even be the topic of conversation for a good hour. There is a black pepper and cherries jubilee flavor that I’m becoming more and more fond of with every sip. Also a mix of blueberry and raspberry. There is such a good balance of fruit and tannins, I love it. There is also a hint of almond and tobacco.
Rating: 87-88 (We couldn’t decide)
Price: $8 (BevMo)