Good QPR Wines For Everyday
Santa Carolina is part of Carolina Wine Brands, one of the leading wine groups in Chile, which belongs to the Watt’s S.A. agribusiness group owned by the Larrain family. With a history spanning over 140 years, Santa Carolina is one of the oldest wineries in Chile.
As Carolina Wine Brands’ flagship brand, Viña Santa Carolina has strong international presence around the world. Its main markets are Canada, Brazil, Japan, Chile, Mexico, China, and the U.S. With strong, steady growth over the past three years, annual sales now exceed 25 million bottles.
Santa Carolina’s wide portfolio offers excellent quality wines in all price ranges.
Santa Carolina was founded in 1875 in Santiago by Luis Pereira Cotapos, and named after his wife, Carolina Iñiguez. In 1877, it began the construction of its cellars, which were built using a mixture of limestone and egg-white in a signature method of the architecture of the city at the time.
In 2015 Wine Enthusiast Awarded Carolina Winery In Chile Best New World Winery. The wines certainly are at a value driven price point. Let’s see what this Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva brings for $10.99
2017 Santa Carolina Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva
The grapes that make up this wine come from the foot of the Andes Mountains in Miraflores vineyards within the Colchagua Valley. Hardly known a decade ago, Colchagua is now becoming one of the most celebrated regions in Chile. Miraflores boasts some of the area’s oldest vines, where fruit can mature slowly thanks to varying temperatures between day and night. The combination of deep rocky soils and a warm, dry climate cooled by mountain breezes make it ideal for producing a refined example of Cabernet Sauvignon.
All the grapes are hand harvested. No blending this is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Typical cold maceration on the skins and then fermentation takes place in Cement Tanks at 82 degrees. The wine is aged for 8 Months in French Wood Casks and then left one more year in the bottle after release. Large case production but at $10.99 price point and a 91 from James Suckling I thought I would take it out for a spin.
SIDE NOTE. MR JAMES SUCKLING…. PLEASE STOP IT. He’s a great guy with a great palate but he gives over 90 points to every single wine on the planet. I no longer trust his scores.
I gave this wine the usual hour of aeration and brought the temp down to 65 degrees as the winery suggests before review. Nice garnet color typical of a Chilean Cab. Aromas of Red Fruits right up front of , cherry, red plum, red currant with just a tad of black currant and char from the wood in the background. THE BIG NO NO that has me drinking less and less and less of MOST South American wines is that they are making them for the American Palate. That means I got a whiff of the BIG S…as in SUGAR. The wine has 3.14 Grams per liter of Residual Sugar and in the technical world of making wine that is not a DRY WINE.. This would be classified as a Semi Dry Wine.. I will accept as close to 0 as possible per liter but under 1 gram per liter. That dissipated some after sitting in the glass. 13% ABV is low for new world wine but it produces a nice medium frame with noticeable Cabernet nuances of Cherry, Currant, Hints Of Cedar with a medium length finish. The wine is balanced and the wine is well made but very simple and straight forward. Does it taste like a $25 or more as many $10 or less do? NO! It tastes a lot better than every $10 Chilean out on the market I have tasted so with that I will score it 87 Points (Sorry James ! This is not a 91 Point Wine IMHO). I could drink this as my everyday wine so a great $10.99 effort.
Most of us even if filthy rich, are looking for value for everyday wine drinking or to serve when guests come over the home. With the 140 years of Winemaking Experience and the millions of cases Carolina Winery Produces this $10.99 Cab would fit that bill. Is it the gift you bring to your bosses retirement party? No. Is it a wine you serve to 200 guests at that party? Yes. A really good quality to price ratio Red Wine that I will recommend for certain occasions. If they would just get rid of that 3 grams of Sugar and go up 1 % On the ABV my score would be higher.
Grape-fully yours, Larry