Early Bloomer

Casa Porta
Winemaker Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon/Carmenère

This Chilean wine is bright purplish-red and foams a little when it's swirled. Both signs indicate youth, so we didn't expect much sophistication. Boy, were we wrong. It offers a spicy, almost smoky nose, and delivers great structure on the palate, with just enough tannin to balance the abundant cherry, blackberry, and cassis fruit. The finish has a sweet little edge, lingering for a minute before the dark settles in.

Drinkable even without food, it's not very Cabernet-like, but who cares? We like it, and might lay a few down to try in a year, or two, or three.

Price: $17

More from Meg Houston Maker


  • Chile is still so often seen as a source of cheap quaff-able table wine, and of late there have been a number of reports and articles about the economic and monetary challenge Chile faces as it tries to move upmarket. For anyone who is already enamored by Chile and its wines, the values to be found in the $15 – $30 range are no secret, and undeniable. Dollar for dollar, or peso for peso, rather, the Chileans are doing remarkable work, and I think they are just getting started. You will surely be pleased by cellaring this one, and I’m of the opinion that decanting Chilean wines is a must (even the inexpensive ones), in order to give them some room to open up. I’ve often thought that Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon is not like any other, and have to say that whenever we open a nice one from the Alto Maipo, I swear it smells just like the air and dirt there.
    Meg your are doing great stuff with this blog…hope to see you in Barnard Sunday. Cheers!

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