Maquis Cabernet Sauvignon

chilean wine  %tages Maquis Cabernet SauvignonA lot of the wines that I review seem to have a similar tale.  A family owns a vineyard for generations and recently renovated their winery, blah, blah, blah.  Well, the tale in the rear Maquis has a slightly different twist.  Yes, it’s a vineyard that has been owned by the same family for over 100 years.  But for most of that time, the family that owns this vineyard only produced grapes for additional vintners.  It wasn’t until about ten years ago that they chose to make some of their own wine from the grapes they grow.
They built a new “gravity flow” winery to produce their wine.  That essentially means that the winery is designed to use gravity to go the wine through the administer rather than pumping the wine from place to place.  The theory is that it treats the wine more gently, making a better product.  For example, during the initial crush you don’t really want to “crush” the grapes but gently crack them open and let the juice escape.  If you were to truly crush the wine, you might also crush the seeds within the grapes adding bitter flavors to the wine.
Since 2005, winemaker Xavier Choné has been consulting with Maquis to help them take better advantage of location within their vineyards in Colchagua Valley.  Choné works with vineyards around the world and is associated with some fantastic wines, like Opus One, and Maquis is the only South American vineyard he’s working with.

When I first smell a wine to try to judge it, I find myself asking, “Is it varietally right?  Is it balanced?  Is it harmonious?  Is it fascinating?  Is it exciting?”  And with this wine, the answer to all of those questions is a apparent “yes!” Then I start to dig into it, “what do I smell here?”  In this case, it starts with chocolate aromas, layered with cassis, plum and cedar.  In the mouth, it has a wonderful, smooth and nearly creamy texture.  It’s biased with ripe fruit flavors, like black cherry, plum and blackberry.  The end is relatively long and features cherry and black tea flavors.  Overall, I’m impressed and certainly recommend this one.
Wine: Maquis
Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage: 2009
Alcohol: 14%
Rating: 89
Fee: $20.00

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