Wine. Food. Reviews. Recipes. Lap it up.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Root 1 Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

I'm a big fan of wines from Chile and Argentina. They blend the characteristics of Old World wines -- particularly those from Spain -- with the New World styles of California and Australia, with good effect. Another thing to like about Chilean and Argentine wines is that they're great values, and deliver a lot of satisfaction per dollar.

One such wine is the Root 1 Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 from Maipo Valley, Chile. Priced at $11 per bottle, it begins with an old-school Chilean nose of eucalyptus and mint, which is followed by a palate dominated by dusty dried cherries. Medium-bodied with ample fruit and subdued tannins, it finishes long and clean.

The Root 1 wines are among those made in Chile from original European root stock planted before the phylloxera epidemic of the 1860s wiped out most of the grapevines in Europe. Two approaches — hybridization with disease-resistant strains and grafting onto disease-resistant American rootstock — were utilized to combat the problem, and the replanted Old World vineyards eventually recovered. That disease never made it to Chile, so many vineyards planted with ungrafted vines still exist there and set the standard for "old vines." Wines made with the fruits of these vines have a distinctive, unique character that it is very easy to develop a taste for.
M. Zane Grey, 8:50 AM