Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

I seem to be feeling the influence of Basque Country all around me.  First, I went to a restaurant where the proprietor and his cuisine hail from the Basque region.  At the restaurant, SER, I also had some Basque wine.  And now I have inadvertently sampled a bottle of wine from a Chilean vineyard whose name, Los Vascos, means “the Basques.”  What an unexpected alignment of the stars and grapes!

Owned by Domaines Barons de Rothschild since 1988, Viña Los Vascos produces a full line of 4 reds (two blends, a Cabernet Sauvignon, and a Carménère), a Chardonnay, a Sauvignon Blanc and a Rosé.

Winemaker:  Los Vascos
Varietal:  Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage:  2013
Appellation: Colchagua, Chile
Price: $8.99

Notes:  This Los Vascos was dark ruby and had scents of tangy berries, earth, moss, oak, and spice in he bouquet.  Medium-bodied and high in acidity, it was dry at 14% alcohol.  Tannins were medium with a quick, firm grip.  It took a good twenty minutes for this selection to breathe.  Once it settled, I caught pepper, brambly woodiness, tobacco, camphor and red berries on the palate.  Pretty decent at this price point, I think.

 

Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

I love it when somebody recommends a wine to me, especially when their recommendation is on point for my personal preferences.  I’m happy to say that’s what happened with this budget Cab.

Winemaker:  Dark Horse
Varietal:  Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage:  2013
Appellation:  California
Price:  $12.99*

Notes:  This purpley Cab had a bouquet including oak, barnyard, mint, vanilla and dark berries.  It was medium-bodied with good acidity and moderate tannins.  Alcohol was at 13.5%.  Flavors I detected were a fruit foundation of plum and dark berry, sweet clove, pepper, oak, and a touch of tar.  This wine was a pretty good mouthful of viniferous enjoyment.  It was especially round and full right at opening, but it remained quite nice throughout for an inexpensive Cab.  A decent value.

* This was the retail price listed at the store where I bought my bottle.  I got it on sale, but I’ve also seen it available for a much lower price (while supplies last, I suppose) at Trader Joe’s.