We’re always on the lookout for value wines that we can enjoy guilt-free on a weekday. Good deals can be found on red varietals from South America such as Argentinian Malbec and Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon. Our local wine store clerk recommended the Vistamar Cabernet Sauvignon priced at about $10.
The Vistamar winery is located in the Rapel Valley about 75 miles south of Santiago. Grapes are sourced from various vineyards in four different geographic areas. The Cab we tasted is from the Cachapoal Andes Valley. From the Vistamar website:
“This valley has a warm climate, with a high concentration of rainfall during the winter, frosts in spring and high temperatures during the summer. The soils are highly fertile and suitable for agriculture. Its climatic conditions lend themselves a better growing for red grape varieties. Though most of the planting is given over to Cabernet Sauvignon, the main varieties identified with this valley are Merlot, Carmenère and Syrah.”
The pour is a deep ruby red with violet highlights. On the nose are dried fruit and smoky wood. The palate continues the dried fruit theme with prunes and dried cherries. Secondary flavors include toast, coffee, and unsweetened chocolate. The bitter aspect of coffee and cocoa continue into a medium length finish with smooth tannins.
The presence of bitter flavors in the Vistamar Cabernet Sauvignon are a quality that could make you love it or hate it. If you drink your coffee black, chances are you’ll like it. I found enough complexity to keep me interested, but my drinking partner bailed out after one glass which resulted in having to restrain me from finishing the whole bottle by myself.