Yet Another Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon

Can you get a decent Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon at this price?...

Gato Negro Cabernet Sauvignon

Gato Negro Cabernet Sauvignon

As the title indicates, we have reviewed several Chilean Cabernet Sauvignons over the years, including some quite inexpensive ones. Todayís offering comes from the Curico Valley approximately 200 kilometers (120 miles) south of the capital, Santiago. The area has a Mediterranean climate and is tucked in between the coastal hills and the Atlantic Ocean. Here the soil is composed of clay, sand, and decomposed granite. The area is part of a famous Chilean wine revival that dates back to the late 1970s. Perhaps thatís why the history section of the company web site makes no mention of the years between its founding in 1865 and 1980. Our companion wine is an Israeli Bordeaux blend at more than five times the cost.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed
Gato Negro Cabernet Sauvignon Chile 2012 13.5 % alcohol about $9.

Letís start by quoting the marketing materials.. ďTasting Note : Garnet red with browning edge; Sweet blackberry jam, mint and leather aromas; Dry, light-medium body, soft fruit and soft tannin; mature dry wine with fruity, moderate finish. Serving Suggestion : Tex/Mex. Dishes; BBQ meats; Poultry.Ē And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine was slightly sweet offering a good balance among acidity, tannins, and plums. The initial meal centered on store-bought barbecued, excessively chewy overcooked beef ribs. The wine tastily cut the meatís grease. A red cabbage and mayonnaise salad took away the liquidís acidity. Donít misunderstand, this was not a good thing. In response to my slathering fiery Yemeni green jalapeno sauce on the meat, the libation picked up power. When wedded to homemade (read delicious) garlicky, oily roasted eggplant, this black cat came up with mostly acidity and no fruit. A yummy square of Swiss dark bittersweet chocolate gutted the contents of my glass.

The second meal focused on a paprika dusted barbecued chicken breast. Now our Chilean friend was hearty, responding with a good mixture of plums, dark cherries, and pleasant oak. But it was too sweet. Pairing with zesty guacamole rendered this libation more acidic and less sweet. Fruit juice candy muted the fermented grapes and yet its cherries grew darker.

The final meal involved a boxed cheese pizza (I was tempted to see if the box was as tasty as the pizza) that I liberally doused with grated Parmesan cheese to no avail. The juice was refreshingly acidic but it was grapey. Fresh strawberries added some burnt taste to the grapiness.

Final verdict. I think I would buy this wine again but it is a close call. If I ever start doing supermarket pizza reviews, perish the thought, Iíll talk with my lawyer before releasing the name of this insult to my tastebuds. There are still enough slices for two more sets of wine reviews.

Access the companion wine A Non-Kosher Israeli Bordeaux Blend.

About the Author

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. His wine websites include    and

Visit his website devoted to italian travel

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