Give Chile an A for trying to impress with its Cabernet Sauvignon. South African reds often have an earthy and slightly funky smell to them. Chilean reds often a faint hint of mint. These characteristics may add a “national characteristic” to the wines of those two countries and if in moderation no need to complain.
James Suckling thinks highly of this Ravanal Gran Reserva scoring it a 93 and placed it in his top 100 wines of Chile for 2021. With such a wide net what being in the top 100 means? It was # 64.
Do we have to set Mr. Suckling straight?
On the nose there is voluptuous black currant, blueberry and dates. This is no mature wine in its prime. It is fresh and perky like that student in class sitting in the front row that frantically waves his hands trying to be the first to answer a teacher’s question. Put another way as for aromas it is beyond the mundane which plagues so many wines these days brought in by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario.
On the palate it has an inviting and charming personality subdued and perfectly mellowed by the oak. It is a full bodied and totally inviting wine with fine tannins. There is some blueberry jam, black cherry and a touch of Nestle Quick chocolate powder. The finish is laid back in this fulsome wine. For $15.95 this knocks out Cali Cabs at twice its price. It is both a sipping wine and a food friendly wine that would suit rich mushroom-based pastas or a good old fashioned prime rib with Yorkshire pudding and my fantastic gravy which is ranked # 365 out the best 1072 gravies in Canada!
Drink by the end of 2023 and perhaps with some Portobello burgers on the grill with grilled zucchini on the side.
Oh, there are no hints of mint but there a subtle mix of herbs on the finish.
(Ravanal Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2019, Valle de Colchagua, Vinos Ravanal, Placilla, Chile, $15.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 542183, 750 mL, 13.5%, RKS Wine Rating 91/100).