Friday, October 28, 2011

Review: *** $ Urban Maule Cabernet Sauvignon, Valle del Maule, Chile, 2008 - BEST VALUE

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Original Tasting and Review, opening thoughts, October, 2010: As an area, Chile has been making some intriguing cabernets at various price points.  This one is available at a value price, and comes with a promising 89 points from Jay Miller of Wine Advocate.

By way of background: This is Urban Maule Cabernet Sauvignon, Valle del Maule, Chile, 2008, finished at 14.% alcohol.  It is 100% cabernet sauvignon grown at approximately 1000 feet altitude, and aged for three months in French oak before bottling. 

In the glass: Urban Maule Cabernet is medium/deep red, opaque about an inch in from the edge of the glass.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, this Chilean cab sports a nose dark of oak and charcoal, wrapped around musty, dark fruit. 

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are a surprisingly sleek and mineral move to the mid-palate, bringing bright currants and suggestions of oyster shells - unusual in a red wine - along with its core of dark fruit.  

In summary: Overall, strong candidate, seeming to show more muscle and promise for the future than full-fledged pleasure today.  Rates two stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with an easy plus for future potential.  May open with some air time too - we'll check that out.  Good value.

Following long decant, two days kept cool under vacuum in a partially filled bottle: Still a compelling nose, now sandier with more pleasant basement overtones.  Palate has held quite taut and bright. 

Updated review, just over a year later, October, 2011:  Consistent color in the glass.  The nose is bold with a deep, musty, pleasant funk.  Blackened oak pushing through the dark fruit.  A mix of spices and red berries comes across on the palate, creating a red currant and red raspberry melange with unique seasoning.  Bright finish, but not overbearing with acids. Moves up a notch to three stars, thereby becoming a best value at its value price.

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