Keep Reaching for the “STARZ”!

A Wine Importer That

Doesn’t Sell Hats In A Shoe Store

Coming off a Father’s Day weekend and writing this Wine Review and my deceased father Marty repeated his Mantra over and over “Don’t Buy a Hat in A Shoe Store”, I very rarely write about a Wine Importer. My father meant a business should never try to be everything to everyone and that is why I chose to mention this Importer for today’s review. My dad would have liked their Philosophy!

Southern Starz Wines

Southern Starz

You want domestic wines from California, New York or Washington. Wrong Importer. How bout Italian? Wrong Importer. Southern Starz in Huntington Beach California ONLY looks at Value, Boutique Wines from the Southern Hemisphere. Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina and Now Chile. That’s all she wrote. At ABC Fine Wines and Spirits where I am employed, I notice that our best wines in my opinion from this Hemisphere come mostly from Southern Starz. I haven’t had a loser in the bunch of a very specialized portfolio from this importer. Kudos to Southern Starz for staying focused on your niche of the Wine Importing Business.

Chilean Wines

Southern Starz has exactly ONE WINERY from Chile. I have reviewed Casas Del Bosque, Carmenere and Pinot Noir and never tasted their Cabernet Sauvignon. Staying on focus, all these wines are Value, under $20 Retail and from one of the best producers in the Casablanca and Maipo Valleys .  Let’s re-introduce this winery to you, in case you didn’t read the last reviews

Casas Del Bosque Winery




The winery has been awarded the prestigious award of “Best Chilean Wine Producer” for 2 consecutive years (2013 and 2014) at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London, a well-deserved testament to their commitment to producing quality wine.

Casas del Bosque is located 70 km from Santiago, the capital of Chile, and 30 km from one of the principal ports of Chile, Valparaiso. It was established in 1993 to be a family boutique winery exclusively oriented to the production of high quality wines. Casas del Bosque has its own vineyards in the Casablanca Valley, the preferred place for premium wine production. This guarantees that they carefully handle and control their entire grade production and all its treatment, leading to the highest quality product.

2016 Casas Del Bosque

Caberent Sauvignon Gran Reserva

Casas Cab Front

Casas Cab Rear

The wine uses only 100% No Blending Cabernet Sauvignon from the Maipo Valley. 10 months aging in both New and Used French Oak Barrels 55% New and 45% Used. 13.5% Alcohol with only 3.6 grams of Residual Sugar per liter with anything New World under 5 Grams is acceptable to me. It ages another few months in bottles before it is released to the marketplace.

The Review

Casas Cab Glass

This is the perfect example of my Vlog posted today before this review. I am able to review a wine that is quality made, that may not be Good For Me in style but Good for many of my customers. As the Carmenere and Pinot Noir from this winery that were both handcrafted value wines but not my Personal Style I love to recommend them each day to guests that do prefer these Ripe Styles of wine. All Casa Del Bosque wines I have found to be a totally different expression of the grapes from areas I prefer. With that said, lets review. A dark ruby/garnet color on the wine and by that we can see the wine spent perfect time macerating on the skins. On the nose it is very aromatic of Rum Raisin cake meets a hint of Tawny Port. There are notes of Vanilla as well from the French Oak and a hint of mint. On the palate, very fleshy but not heavy as it is a perfect 13.5% Alcohol. A very ripe blackberry, black currant , roast beef juices mid-palate with a persistent finish that ends with notes of chocolate covered espresso beans and cedar. I agree with reviewer James Suckling who said this wine that he awarded 90 Points to, made him crave a steak. For me, I was begging for a Bacon Cheeseburger with Onion Rings. I will score it an 88+ out of 100 and would have liked a little more depth in layers but a very ripe expression of the grape Cabernet Sauvignon and the Maipo Valley of Chile

The Summary

A solid effort again from Casas Del Bosque. This is certainly value driven, boutique, handcrafted juice. For my personal style as their other wines, a little too Ripe in Style and I want more earthy tannins and Bitter Chocolate And Green Notes like many Washington State Cabs give me. The big selling point for this wine is that as a Somm I taste a heck of a lot of wines. And it is no secret to anyone that I am not a huge proponent of the Poor Quality To Price Ratio that Napa And Sonoma offers. This wine is way way way less Sugary and not over-oaked  than at least 50 Cabernet’s that I have recently tasted in the $50- $80 Price range that are not even 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.  This wine for that palate and 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and aged in French Oak for $16.99 is a total No Brainer. Blind I would bring this wine to any Cabernet Sauvignon Event of wines close to $100 and I bet this $16.99 one would be favored by 90% of the tasters if not more. As you shop the Sourced and Certified Aisles of the Southern Hemisphere, when you get to Chilean Wines just turn the labels around and Keep Reaching for The STARZ as in Southern Starz Importers. Only one label from Chile but they picked one of the best that provides VALUE!

Grape-fully yours, Larry


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