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The Maipo Valley in Chile is perhaps best known in wine terms for its Cabernet Sauvignon and its Bordeaux blends like this one made 65% from Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% from Merlot. Founded in 1856, Cousiño Macul is the only winery amongst those established during the nineteenth century that continues to be wholly owned by the founding family. Their mission is “to produce world-class wines that are unmistakably Chilean, with character that expresses the unique taste of the Maipo Valley”.
I've been looking to expand the South American wines in the portfolio for a while and this one is the perfect addition. I was quite taken aback by the aromas and flavours of this wine - it's a complex and concentrated Cabernet/ Merlot blend with intense fruit, spice and savoury flavours reflecting the wine's development and ageing in oak and then in bottle. I struggled to categorise this wine because it is fruity, smooth, a little rich & spicy - in the end I went for big & bold just to reflect the intensity of the flavours.
It is the juicy black fruit / fruits of the forest flavours which dominate and which remain on the really long finish. Old vines bring complexity and concentrated aromas and flavours plus the wine has spent time macerating on the grapes for a greater extraction of color and aromas. After ageing in oak for 15 months the wine is bottled without any filtration (though I had no sediment) and continues evolving and ageing in Cousiño Macul's cellars for at least two further years before release.
That ageing means that the tannins are only noticeable in that the wine has structure - but they are fine tannins and not at all mouth-puckering. The wine has the structure, fruit and acidity to develop further - but I doubt you will want to lay down this wine once you have tasted it.
94 points Tim Atkin MW Mar 2017
BEST WINES OF THE YEAR/RED - BORDEAUX BLENDS: “One of only two Cousiño wines that’s still made with fruit from Macul in the suburbs of Santiago, this is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon with 35% Merlot. Ripe, smooth and textured, with plenty of grip, fine tannins and the power and concentration to age.”