Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Rating: **** ***+ Root: 1 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005, 2011 and 2010, Colchagua Valley, Chile = BEST VALUE

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The Root: 1 (Root:1)  is a bargain priced (sometimes under $10 U.S.), reasonably well-regarded cabernet sauvignon from Colchagua Valley, Chile, grapes vinted by Vina Ventisquero. Gorgeous bottle in the U.S. imported version.

2005 Vintage, Original Review, November, 2007:

In the glass, it is dark red, moving from opaque to more transparent right at the rim. Touch of purple.

Aromas are forceful, pumping sweet cherry liqueur aromas out of the glass. A wonderful, grown-up candy smell. Reminds me of Ogden Nash's line. Hugely inviting in a bright, sweet way. Almost, oddly enough, like the fresh laundry aroma I sometimes find in the gamay grape, commonly available as beaujolais.

On the palate, you first sense a lusher, rounder wine than you might have expected from the aroma. Fully ripe plums in the middle, touches of dark chocolate and rich dark cherries. Just enough tannin and acid to give depth to the round sweetness. An evenly fading, modest length finish. I'd stay with this one for an evening. Four stars out of five. An absolutely awesome value for the price.

Robert Parker liked this, giving it 90 points in the Wine Advocate and saying, "Deep, dark cherry color with an expressive bouquet of currants, vanilla, blackberry and redberry fruits. Toffee, tobacco and bittersweet chocolate also stand out on the nose. Soft and supple in the mouth, the ripe fruit is balanced by smooth oak and its creamy texture is dominated by rich, ripe berries and a dark chocolate finish."

After full-day decanting: lost most of its potency. Not recommended. Drink fresh.

Updated review, 2011 vintage, March, 2014:   This vintage is finished at 13.5% alcohol.  Deep muddy red and black currant in color.  Opaque in center. A familiar nose from the Root: 1 variety: bold, candy apples, violets and ink.  Deep, bright, bold and somewhat contemplative.  Drier and sandier on the palate than the nose would suggest, showing a slightly blackened, charcoal nature that engulfs the fruit.  The finish holds nicely and wraps up clean.  This vintage rates an easy three stars, just touching a plus because of its compelling aroma.  Good value.

Updated review, 2010 vintage, April, 2014:   This vintage is also finished at 13.5% alcohol.  Dark opaque black cherry red color.  Aromas is consistent - bright, bold, aromatic, dark, all velvet and cherries.  Flavor that is consistent with the 2011 as well: dark, some charcoal, with fresh laundered fruit.  Nice clean finish.  Easy going and still distinctive.  Three stars with a plus for this distinction.  Once again, a good value.

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  1. *
    This is far from the best wine I have ever had. I found it to be medium dry, and bitter. I can only guess that it is singularly a bad bottle.

  2. Wow. That's definitely bad news. Sometimes I'd say bitterness might be cured by a bit of decanting time, but from my experiment, decanting didn't seem to help Root 1 much. Definitely something dark in the brew (I called it "dark chocolate", Parker called it "bittersweet").