Maipo Valley, Chile; 14% ABV
$5 at the Richmond, CA, store on 20 March
This has been at the Richmond store for a while, and had always looked interesting, so I thought I’d try one while waiting for the sale to start. It’s not my favorite, but it’s pretty good wine for the money.
Maybe take this with a grain of salt since I’m “the air guy,” but this wine really needs some air, so I’d recommend decanting it for about an hour and a half. I thought it continued to improve, becoming darker and riper, during the time we drank the first 3/4 bottle, up to 3 hours after opening. The wine showed typical Cabernet flavors of ripe red / purple cherry, blackcurrant, and (with more air) blackberry, with a definite note of green bell pepper that became more submerged as the wine opened. The finish was slightly rough to my taste, suggesting to me that this wine is near the end of its life, but this was not too bad on its own and was easily smoothed over with food.
The saved single-glass, screwcap bottle confirms my impression that the wine is a little past its prime. The flavors are much the same, but the green bell pepper has gotten stronger and the finish more abrasive. It’s still tasty enough with food, but it’s probably better consumed in one evening, and soon.