Monday, April 1, 2013

Updated Review: *** $$ Palomo Peak Reserva Privada Cabernet Sauvignon, Rapel Valley, Chile, 1997 AND 1999

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Rapel Valley, Chile, cabernet sauvignon.

By way of background, opening thoughts: Chile is quite noted today for its red varietal wines, especially cabernet sauvignon, merlot and malbec.  How about 15 years ago?  This cabernet sauvignon hails from 1997, 15 years ago.  


Original tasting and review January, 2012: This is Palomo Peak Reserva Privada Cabernet Sauvignon, Rapel Valley, Chile, 1997, finished at 13.5% alcohol.

In the glass: Deep mahogany with only the slightest hint of dark new brick at the edge.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows faded, somewhat vegetable-tinged fruit, but with an encouraging hint of plum too.  From the aroma, seems like this may be tired and generic - with luck though, it will have some lift.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact quite layered, complex and balanced, with deep earthy blackberries surrounded by softer tannins and acids that still hold together.  Finish is brief but clean.

In summary: Overall, rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.
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Updated review, same day:  OK, I couldn't resist.  Same wine, same maker, same varietal, same label, except two years younger - a 1999 vintage - only a mere 13 years from vintage date.  Consistent color.  The nose shows even more vegetable elements along with the earthy fruit.  I get a sandy broccoli.  The sandiness is bright and unique however, like fresh beach sand.  On the palate, the fruits move more rapidly to the roof of your mouth, bringing friendly acids and balance.  Don't mistake - the age is there as well, with its more generic tones.  But the acids tuck this 1999 vintage into your cheeks, allowing a lengthier finish.  Solid three stars as well. 

Updated a year later, March, 2013:  Whew. Vegetable slaw.  The fruits are still in there.  But the wine is so over-the-top-old that it is hard work to make your way into the fruits. Falling fast on the Spirit of Wine scale.  Drink fresher!

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Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Rapel Valley, Chile, cabernet sauvignon.

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