RKS Wine: On the Hunt for an Under $20 Cabernet Sauvignon: Santa Alicia 2018 Gran Reserva from Chile

Finding a 92 plus Cabernet Sauvignon for under $20 (CDN) is a chore. In 2022 the only one so far I have discovered is a 2018 Tapiz Alta Collection Cabernet Sauvignon from the Uco Valley in Argentina at $19.95. I note that COVID has ravaged local and international wine tastings restricting many professional palates to a shrivelled offering.

Chile is a good source for modestly priced wines and what says the 2018 Santa Alicia Cabernet Sauvignon from Valle del Maipo?

A friendly and highly welcoming and smooth bouquet of blueberry, cherry, raspberry and red plum. The aromas are high toned so I am expecting a taut body and not overly fruit laden. On the palate my guess is correct as this is a tight and lean wine. Notes of boysenberry, cherry and pomegranate. Unfortunately the finish is astringent and barren. I fail to see how ageing will help this wine. Drinkable but you and I deserve something better than that. James Suckling gives this an overly generous 93 rating. Suckling is no Luca Maroni but the point spread between him and I is widening these days and I query if he was a tougher nut to crack when he was with Wine Spectator. A 93 in my book is an exceptional wine. This is not in that category.

(Santa Alicia Gran Reserva de los Andes Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Valle del Maipo, Chile, Viña Santa Alicia, Santiago, Chile, $18.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 60244, 750 mL, 14%, RKS Wine Rating 85/100).

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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