What would happen if: a) California’s leading Consulting Oenologist, Andre Tchelistcheff, formed a partnership with; b) the Dean of the School of Economics and Business Administration of a prominent university plus; c) a major Napa Valley vineyard owner and; d) a seasoned wine marketing professional with 20 years experience? They call it Domaine Tchelistcheff. One would anticipate a fine bottle, yes? Well, the equivalent has happened in Chile!
Discover Wine Ltd., incorporated in 1988, pools the expertise, experience and vineyard holdings of four top figures in the Chilean wine scene. Aurlelio Montes (Head Oenologist) is the “a” in the picture. He has worked with or advised most of the important wineries in Chile. He is a graduate of the prestigious School of Agronomy and Oenology at the Universidad Catolica de Chile (where the group’s President was the aforementioned “b”). Montes is credited as the first Chilean winemaker both to use French oak barrels for aging and to produce a white wine that won a Gold Medal at Bordeaux’s Vinexpo International Wine Fair.
The Montes wines come from the 210 acre Vina Los Nogales Domaine (owned by “c”). 125 acres are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon. This finely situated estate heretofore supplied Chile’s top 3 wineries; Concha y Toro, Santa Rita and Vina San Pedro. From this last winery, incidentally, comes the “d” above. He is Vina San Pedro’s ex-export manager!
Wine lovers have been having a love affair with Cabernet Sauvignon, internationally, for centuries. And why not? When transplanted to any suitable climate from its original home in Bordeaux, France, the grape is almost unique in maintaining its captivating, noble character. It yields classic dry reds: fragrant as the night, full and firm of body, which beckon hauntingly, “I’m not getting older…I’m getting better.”
This Cabernet has a medium-deep ruby/garnet color and an aroma classic in its blackcurrant, cherry and vanilla notes, but with a hint of “grassiness”. The fruit flavors follow through into the taste. Typical of Chilean Cabernets, the soft, dry, well-balanced body is in the lighter, elegant, so-called “claret” style. It finishes long, with a hint of chocolate.
Serve at room temperature with steak, roast beef, roast duck or assorted cheeses.
Cellaring Notes: Drink now & track about 3 years.
Reviewed by Larry Tepper