RKS Wine: Reflections on Perhaps Overly Generous Wine Writers and a Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon

In the perfect communist world the proletarian masses would seize power and transform society so that the state would “wither away”. In a perfect world wine consumers would educate themselves through instruction or a willingness to diversify and try different wines from different wine producing countries to develop good comparative knowledge so the wine writer would “wither away”. But we don’t live in a perfect world and the wine writer survives to guide the less than educated wine consumer.

But what does a 97 from Luca Maroni mean or a 92 from Robert Parker or a 76 from Robert Stephen mean? Unfortunately, much wine is marketed on the basis of scores from a wine writer. The score means little unless you have experience with that wine writer. I often laugh at the outlandishly high scores from Luca Maroni. I cringe a bit with scores from James Halliday. I think James Suckling is two-three points too generous. Roger Voss of Wine Enthusiast is usually right on. And of course I agree with Robert Stephen all the time! But being a proponent of let the wine critic wither away who cares what any of these writers say! Put a wine in front of them you might get totally differing interpretations.

So what does the esteemed Robert Stephen think of the Chilean Lagar de Codegua 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile?

On the nose there is some hot and runny blueberry pie just out of the oven, currants, blackberry and some minty nuances a hallmark of many Chilean wines. On the palate moderate but broadly based tannins with raspberry jam, black cherry, Kicking Horse Smart Ass coffee and some Chambord. Medium length finish. Since I mentioned “Smart Ass” that gives me license to say this is a tight assed wine unlike many Californian Cabs. I mean it is not bowling you over with richness. A restrained Cabernet Sauvignon and if you like that style go for this wine. I would match it with a Potato and Eggplant Gratin. See the New York Times for that recipe.

It may open up a bit in the next two years.

By the way James Suckling gave this a 93 and was ranked # 55 in his top 100 Chilean wines of 2021.

(Lagar de Codegua Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, DO Rancagua, Alto Cachapoal, $19.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 19248, 750 mL, 14%, RKS Wine Rating 89/100).

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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