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November 25, 2016 Wine Pick of the Week

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Undurraga T.H. Cab S Picmonkey

2014 T.H. Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Undurraga

Alto Maipo (Chile)

Alcohol: 14%

Suggested Retail: $24

“American consumers might tend to dismiss Chilean wines, given that so much of what shows up here is at the lower end of the price spectrum. What you find in a supermarket at $10 or less may be good value, but isn’t really reflective of what wine from this country can be.

“Today’s ‘Pick,’ the 2014 T.H. Cabernet Sauvignon, is a delightful wine and, at $22-$25 retail, it’s a bargain. The T.H. initials on the label are followed by parenthetical “Terroir Hunter,” which apparently is the identity of one line of wines within the Undurraga family of products. This is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from vineyards in the Andes foothills situated at elevations of a little more than 2000 feet--higher than nearly all California and Washington vineyards where this variety is grown. That isn’t necessarily a virtue in itself, but vines growing at such elevation are in a different environment—a different terroir, if you will.

“So many bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon we’ve encountered recently have been big and powerful, yet seem ponderous and without subtlety. Not so with this Southern Hemisphere Cab. It exhibits the basic berries and black currant qualities of this variety. Add to the raspberry and blackberry aromas, there is a subtle herbal tone—rather like dried flowers. There is power here, too, but the wine isn’t too big. It delivers its charms in a lilting package that is layered and sophisticated.”

Food Affinity: “We’d like to suggest some very typical Chilean dish to complete the theme (an internet search indicates that Llama can sometimes be on the menu), but the truth is that this bottle of wine would likely go with any meal most Americans would ordinarily pair with a red wine. We’d enjoy it with grilled lamb chops or a roasted leg of lamb.”

 

Editor’s Note:  Wines reviewed in Taste California Travel are encountered by our staff in several ways. They can be discovered at trade tastings or visits to wineries. They may also be purchased by staff members for their own tables or be those sent by wineries for possible review. This is an editorial feature, not advertising, and appearance cannot be secured by payment. More information can be had by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.