It had been a while since we reviewed an organic wine. Last week’s more expensive review covered a biodynamic (more than organic) Pinot Noir. Now we drop down to mere organic. In the 1990s the Emiliana vineyards converted a conventional Chilean winery to organic and biodynamic production for a total of about 2700 acres (over 1150 hectares) in five vineyards. This particular wine is not described on their website. It comes from the Central Valley, the nation’s oldest and most traditional wine region. Our companion wine is a slightly less expensive Chilean Cab from the Rapel Valley, a sub region of the Central Valley.
OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.
Natura Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 14 % alcohol about $11.
There were no marketing materials so let’s start with the back label. “This world-class Cabernet Sauvignon has notes of dark berries and cocoa. Produced from organically grown grapes. Organic viticulture brings forth the true characters of the vineyard terroir.” And now for my review.
At the first sips this wine was somewhat sweet but had good acidity and virtually no tannins. Japanese rice crackers rendered the liquid long. It came with plums and light tannins. The main dish was a boxed Baked Ziti Siciliano liberally doused with grated Parmesan cheese. The drink had good length, plums, and a tinge of oak. I was still getting sweet notes from the wine, perhaps because this tomato based dish was itself somewhat sweet. Fresh strawberries imparted a burnt taste to this wine. The second dessert of praline filled bittersweet Swiss chocolate muted the contents of my glass but I did notice some dark cherries.
My next meal focused on a baked Atlantic salmon filet that had been marinated in liquid soy, cumin, coriander, caraway, and red pepper. Our Chilean friend was mouth filling and balanced with some plums. Its sweetness was not unpleasant. Quinoa had no effect on the wine. The other side dish was a combination of steamed broccoli and Jerusalem artichokes. In response the libation was long and balanced. I tasted chocolate and some coffee.
The third meal consisted of slow-cooked meat balls in a tomato sauce. The Cab was very present, a little bit went a long way. It was metallic and chewy with some oak, upbeat acidity, and some tar. But it was sweet. White potatoes cooked alongside the meat rendered the wine dark and chewy. Sweet potatoes cooked alongside the meat made this drink two-dimensional.
Final verdict. If you can get this wine at or near $11 I suggest that you go for it, even more so if you are into organic wine. I had to pay about $16 so I am out until they make a dry version. At that point it’s a definite maybe.Access the companion wine A Wine Lover's Weekly Review Of $10 Wines - A Rapel Valley Chile Cabernet Sauvignon
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would
rather just drink fine French or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario
French-language community college. His wine websites include
www.theworldwidewine.com and http://www.theitalianwineconnection.com
Visit his website devoted to Italian travel www.travelitalytravel.com
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