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Wine of the week: Errazuriz Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserva 2010

Wine of the week: Errazuriz Cabernet SauvignonThere is almost no way that this red wine, from a well-known Chilean producer, should have impressed me. It’s too old for a cheap wine and too many cheap Chilean wines these days are dumbed down for the so-called American palate.

But the Errazuriz ($11, purchased, 13.5%) was neither of those. It was great Chilean cheap wine from the old days, a decade or so ago when you could go to any supermarket and pay $10 for a red like this or a sauvignon blanc like Veramonte and get more than your money’s worth. Chilean wines were always candidates for the $10 Hall of Fame in those days.

But not as much anymore. For one thing, the quality of the grapes used to make the wines declined as Chilean wine became more popular and more grapes were needed. For another, the marketing wise guys got their hands on the wines, and focus grouped them to death, so that they started to taste the same.

The Errazuiz didn’t have as much black fruit as I expected, but it was still more new world in style than old — save for the fact that it is heavy enough that it needs food. Plus, it was mostly balanced, with tannins and acid in the right places, another pleasant surprise. This is a nice value, and especially for an older $10 wine. Shows what Chile can still do when its winemakers aren’t busy chasing trends.

 

  • Liz Bennet

    I have found Errazuriz to be a dependable value. They’re usually a few dollars more expensive than $10, but seem to be always well-made. They grow their own grapes and they’re an old winery, so at least some of their land goes back to the 19th century. That might help their cost structure and definitely should help their grapes. I’m a particular fan of their Carmenere and always buy it when I see it.

    • http://winecurmudgeon.com Wine Curmudgeon

      Past vintage and the Dallas liquor store price war explains the $10 price here. But you are exactly correct about the winery.

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