A Wine Lover’s Weekly Guide To $10 Wines – A Cabernet Sauvignon From The Colchagua Valley, Chile

Not so long very ago we reviewed an inexpensive Chilean Kosher Cabernet Sauvignon. Now we will review a neighbor. The Colchagua Valley a subregion of the Rapel Valley lies about 150 kilometers (some 90 miles) south of the nation’s capital, Santiago. This lovely valley is separated from the Andes by the San Fernando Ridge. Colchagua Valley was once known for bulk wines but in 2003 it was nominated as the Best Viticulture Region of the World by the North American Magazine Wine Enthusiast. The Vina Luis Felipe Edwards was established in 1976. Luis Felipe is a direct descendant of a London England doctor who settled in Chile during the early 1800s. The winery capacity exceeds 30 million bottles a year and they have transformed part of an old cellar into a winery within a winery. Their many wines include sweet late harvest wines similar to French Sauternes. Today’s companion wine is an Israeli Kosher Cabernet Sauvignon whose previous vintage was clearly the best wine I tasted in 2010. While it isn’t a $10 wine you might be surprised at its cost.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review were purchased at the full retail price. Wine Reviewed Terra Vega 2010, 12.5% alcohol about $10. In the absence of marketing materials we can start by quoting the back label. “Our Terra Vega Cabernet Sauvignon is abundant with soft berry fruit aromas and flavors that are balanced with soft tannin and make it ready for immediate enjoyment. This wine is a perfect accompaniment to a variety of dishes such as veal, red meats, and pastas.” And now for my review.

At the first sips I was pleased with this wine’s balanced tannins and acidity. It was rather long and tasted of dark plums. The initial meal centered on slowly cooked round steak. In response the libation seemed to become thin but it remained long. When it met the accompanying potatoes our Chilean friend began to get peppery. The side dish of green beans cooked with crushed tomatoes rendered the drink’s acidity rather harsh. I added Lousiana hot sauce to the meat and the wine stepped up to meet the challenge.

The next meal began with spinach stuffed sesame seed coated puff pastry. Now the libation’s acidity infringed somewhat on the fruit. When paired with Baked Ziti Siciliano that I liberally doused with grated Parmesan cheese, the wine was round offering very light tannins and light fruit.

My final meal centered on chicken stew accompanied by potatoes, onions, chickpeas, and crushed tomatoes. Now this drink was slightly metallic and its sour acidity dominated the fruit. Once again I had green beans with crushed tomatoes. Now this Cab’s acidity stepped back. Now the wine was refreshing, but not tasty.

Final verdict. I don’t plan to buy this wine again; its pairings were too hit and miss. But if you want to go with an inexpensive dry Kosher wine you could do worse.

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but definitely prefers drinking fine wine. He teaches computer classes at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website www.theworldwidewine.com features a weekly review of $10 wines. Visit his Italian wine website www.theitalianwineconnection.com .

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