Thursday, June 30, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: ***+ $ Walnut Crest Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006, Valle Rapel, Chile (BEST VALUE, "PRACTICALLY FREE")

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Original Review, May, 2009: Walnut Crest Cabernet Sauvignon is part of the Walnut Crest line of value-priced wines from the producer Vinedos Emiliana of Chile. The grapes are from the Valle Rapel region.

In the glass, Walnut Crest Cabernet Sauvignon is medium deep, dusty red. Aromas are jumping a bit from the glass - unusual for a value-priced cabernet. There is a note of funk (bottle just opened), along with a purple Kool-aid element, new balloons and a fresh, cold Grapesicle ice.

On sipping, the more serious notes of Walnut Crest emerge - deep, round, ruddy, slightly earthy fruit, with black charcoal elements. Most impressions are in the mid-palate. Still, a furry tannic side emerges, with just enough acid to lift the darker mood. Finish is clean and modest. Outstanding balance.

Three stars because I would return to this - adding a plus because so many disparate elements do seem to want to knit together. Lacks the intensity to drive to four stars; but an awesome value at its modest price.

Updated review, two years later, June, 2011:  Color is consistent - this is almost opaque in the middle of the glass.  Whoaaa, aroma STILL jumps from the glass, but now it is funky, peppery, old-world, muddled red fruit.  The earth and charcoal continue to accompany the definite fruit on the palate, but it now has a Tom Waits-y feel.  What I mean is that it has a bit of an in-the-gutter character.  Some additional air may clean this up.  Interesting, but the cleaner experience when this was younger will suit more folks well. Let's see what a decant brings...  Following long decant, full day kept cool in partially filled bottle:   Aroma consistent. Palate is full, muddled and rich. Ready to drink and all knitted together now.

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