And the winner is...
Château los Boldos Vieilles Vignes Cabernet Sauvignon 2010*, Cachapoal
Tasting this wine came like a breath of fresh air: a Chilean Cabernet that eschews the tannic, imposing style so typical in this country and instead very deliberately majors on leafy perfume and succulent, lifted juiciness. It doesn’t try too hard yet in itself is a finely honed product true to its place and its people. All of which is well worth celebrating.
Los Boldos is a traditional Chilean producer based near Requinoa in the heart of the Cachapoal region. For long it made a traditional style of wine, the jewel in its crown being some old plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, but by the early 2000s it was faltering.
In 2008, however, the Portuguese Sogrape group purchased the property and set about instigating a much-needed programme of reform and investment to the tune of US$12 million by 2013. It also brought in soil expert and terroir guru Pedro Parra, who confirmed the value of the alluvial terraces for Cabernet Sauvignon.
It would seem from the quality and style of this wine that the new direction has had a dramatic effect. The quality and nobility of the terroir shine through in this wine, fruit of vines planted in 1948. Both viticulturist Juan Pablo Aranda and winemaker Stephane Geneste deserve credit (as does Parra).
Between them they have created a very special wine, one whose origins have not been muddied by the hand of the winemaker, and whose drinkability, refreshment value and elegant reticence should act as a shining example to other makers of Chilean Cabernet.
Written by Peter Richards