Thursday, April 12, 2007

Wine Blogging Wednesday #32

(Okay, so it's not Wednesday. I did the tasting in time, but the post didn't get written. I wanted to share anyway.)

While browsing the shelves in my local wine store recently, it occurred to me that Wine Blogging Wednesday #32 would be here before I knew it. I had a wine in mind for the theme of regular vs. reserve, but I thought, it will be hard to find a regular and a reserve in the same vintage.

It is my understanding that wineries typically release regular and reserve bottlings at different times and maybe in different years. Of course, when I looked at the wines I had in mind—they were the same vintage. Shows how much I know.

The wines I selected were:

Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua 2004

Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Colchagua 2004

Los Vascos is part of Domaines de Barons de Rothschilds (Lafite), which encompasses multiple wineries around the world. Los Vascos is one of the older foreign-owned wineries in Chile and one of the early advocates of advanced winemaking methods and vineyard management techniques.

Chile is one of the few countries that was never ravaged by the phylloxera epidemic of the late 1800’s. The vines at Los Vascos are ungrafted, pre-phylloxera, Bordeaux rootstock. The vineyard is located in the Cañaten Valley in the Colchagua province of Chile.

I’ve had the regular Los Vascos Cabernet in the past and always considered it a good value, and I’ve been meaning to try the reserve cab to see how it compares. This is definitely a good example of the reserve being worth the price.

Translucent garnet in color, the regular bottling has aromas of fresh cherries and mint. The flavors are black cherry, vanilla and green pepper with soft tannins and a short finish. It’s a tasty quaff at a very reasonable price—around $8.

The difference in the reserve bottling is apparent in the opaque purple color and the complex aromas of plum, dried cherry, garique and cigar box. The more this wine sat in the glass, the more it opened up. The flavors are blackberry, black cherry, plum, cassis, mint and cedar with firm tannins and a lingering finish. This is a rich, deep, complex wine for not a lot of money—around $15.

On an interesting side note, I had a glass of each on the second night, and they both held up very nicely, the reserve especially. This makes me think that if you’re in the market for a reasonably priced cabernet for short term cellaring, the reserve would be a good choice.


Dr. Debs said...

Good job, John. I couldn't find two wine that matched. They were either different vintages, or different vineyards, or different vineyards but not reserve--I hope next month is "white wine--any white wine." I need a break!

John said...

Thanks, Deb. It was pure happenstance. We're both hoping that #33 is an easy order to fill.

Always nice to see you in my comments.

Farley said...

I agree with you both. Mine was only easy because I work in a tasting room. Dr.Debs,I've been on white kick lately, so I hope it's something non-red as well,

John said...

It's definitely white wine season, Farley. Should we start an Anything-White Wine Blogging Wednesday #33 campaign?