Grocery Store Wines – Los Vascos, 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon; Colchagua Valley Chile

Standard

Domaines Barons de Rothschild [Lafite]/Los Vascos, 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon; Colchagua Valley Chile′

For a while now I have thought about reviewing and categorizing what I would consider “Grocery Store” wines.  These would be wines that you happen to come across while doing your weekly shopping, advertised bargains [love those!], non-advertised sales [love those even more!], a bottle you may pick up on the way to a dinner party etc.  Your standard variety wine which you can pretty much get anywhere; some people swear by them others avoid them like the plague. Luckily as the general wine drinking public expands their horizons so have grocery stores when considering the selections and variety they stock including some very nice higher end options.  Of course location may define a Grocery Store wine but for the most part I will use this as a generalized term including everything from a two buck special to high-end wines which some people would never consider buying with their hard-earned $$. RULE: The wine must be available at a grocery store but with one caveat; I may go as far as including drug stores since their wine inventory is ever-increasing also.

The icing on the cake [or some may say fate] for my Grocery Store idea was pretty much sealed when about two weeks ago I was hired to be a Wine Steward for the grocer WINN-DIXIE [as covered in a recent blog post]. Grocery store wines some may ask? Welcome to my world 🙂

I have chosen the Chilean Los Vascos to be my first Grocery Store wine selection. Being completely honest I was first drawn to this wine in particular because of its SALE price. Secondly by the fact that it was from Chile and I love my South American wines. As I have started to research I am now also impressed by its pedigree:

Los Vascos one of Chile’s oldest wine estates is managed by Domaines Barons de Rothschild [Lafite], who began a comprehensive modernization and investment program in 1988. The 560 hectare vineyard is located in the Cañeten valley of the Colchagua province which offers a pre-phylloxera Bordeaux rootstock.

My notes: Color, a rich dark garnet. At opening and prior to officially decanting I detected a strong wood [oak] scent on the nose. Not overly strong but detectable up front with more dark fruit scents [plum, raisin] as it breathed. Interestingly enough as I describe the scent as “dark fruit” I also detected some strawberry on the nose so it may be more accurately described as a combination of both.  Also noticeable on the nose was a distinct earthy, terroir, barnyard aroma that faded and somehow turned to a guava/fig scent as the wine opened over 30 minutes. As we began to sip and let the wine sit in our mouth I was very impressed with its smoothness. No heat or burn from alcohol. That is something to be said for a young mass-produced wine.  On the palate I detected; the same fruits referenced on the nose with the addition of cherry and black pepper on the finish. The finish was solid but not overly lingering which balanced well with the overall smooth factor and drinkability of this wine.

Grocery store retail price on this wine is about $12.50. Reasonable indeed if it were not on sale. Between manufacturer coupon and grocery in-store sale [in this case Winn-Dixie go figure]  the price was somehow actually reduced to $4.85! As you can imagine the wine was a big hit but just as surprisingly I think the sale scared off some possible buyers because of its low price and the shoppers own perceived price:quality ratio.  Unfortunately the sale price went up to $6.89 the following week but it is still selling well.

At a $12.00 price range, even though it is reasonably priced, I am not sure I would go out of my way to buy this wine. I would think twice or consider other options, even after admitting that I rather enjoyed it. At $4.00-$7.00 the decision is easy; BUY IT! Sure hope that $4.85 offer comes around again. ¡Salud!

From the winemaker’s web-site:

Cabernet Sauvignon is the classic production of Los Vascos, and is the grape that made the estate famous. The vintages all share a mature and fruity quality, fresh aromas, and a supple and fleshy structure. This wine has a sparkling ruby-red colour and a pleasantly fruity nose with aromas of black cherries, raspberries and plums, all with a hint of spice. This is a silky, flavourful wine, with a supple tannin structure. A great classic

Vintage 2010

There was a very dry period during the winter months (463 mm of rain compared to 726 mm the previous year), but carefully planned, controlled irrigation ensured a normal growth cycle. Low temperatures in the spring during flowering resulted in some flower abortion, and thus slightly less generous bunches of grapes. Production was reduced by 15% compared to the annual average (8.5 tons/ha vs. 10 tons/ha) but this resulted in greater concentration and remarkably well-balanced grapes.

Bright ruby red colour. Remarkably expressive, fruity nose: aromas of blueberries, cherries, blackcurrants and raspberries blending perfectly with notes of pink pepper, paprika, curry and saffron. Velvety, full-bodied and seductive in the mouth with mild acidity and gentle tannins giving very pleasant mouthfeel.

Advertisements

21 responses »

  1. When I first had their wines in early 2000s they had massive problems with corked wine. I had to return several bottles back then, and the wine merchant told me he received 1 out of 3 bottles back (seriously!). I guess they fixed that. I always liked their wines when they were not corked…

  2. Thanks for the heads up, glad mine wasn’t corked! So far no returns but it will be interesting to see if it is still a current problem. Of course transportation and storage can be a big issue too. Keeping my eyes and ears open 🙂
    Regards,
    Ernest.

    • Loved your “Animals and Wine” post, will be keeping my eyes open. I agree with you on the Chilean and earthiness factor. Of course this is probably what I like about them but could see where others would feel differently. What impressed me about this one in particular was its smoothness and controlled tanin level. Albeit I did detect an earthy barnyard quality when first decanted but this faded as the wine breathed for about 20-30 minutes.
      I just reviewed my blog postings and see I have quite a bit on Chilean wines. If you’d like me to send you additional info I would be glad to.
      Thank you,
      Ernest.

      • I’ll keep me eye out for this one, and hopefully remember to let it breath. Meanwhile, I’m always looking for new wines to try, so let me know if a non-earthy Chilean red is in your archives.

    • Summer? In Vermont? 🙂 Thank you for at least not putting ice cubes in your Cab. Sauv. LOL.
      BTW had a nice and my first Garnacha Rose’ from Spain over memorial Day weekend. may be a future posting…..

  3. One major difference between Los Vascos and other Chilean wines are the grapes used and who oversees the estate. While this vineyard was in operation in the late 1800’s, Domain Baron de Rothschild (DBR) took over the vineyard in 1988, and major replantings have been done to some areas.. are so no wonder.

    After reading the comments, I remembered I wrote a review of this in January of 2011, that if you don’t mind, i’ll link below in case you’re interested. Obviously, I’m a big fan of this vineyard.

    http://jvbuncorked.wordpress.com/2011/01/26/from-jvbs-cellar-every-day-reds-great-values-1-26-11/

  4. I’m used to reading reviews of wines that are well outside my price range for regular consumption. But I’ve actually had this wine several times! I agree with your review. When it’s on sale, it’s worth it.

  5. Pingback: Cabernet Day August 30th 2012 – Celebrating everything Cabernet « WhineAndCheersForWine

  6. Pingback: Whole Foods Market North Miami – The Day After the Day Before | Whine And Cheers For Wine

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s