Primary Red Varieties
Chile’s star grape, the king of all reds, Cabernet Sauvignon made its way from France in the mid-19th century. It quickly settled in and began enticing local—and later international—consumers with its flexible attributes that range from easy-going charmer to debonair courtier.
Although it grows in all but the coldest of Chilean climates, this late-ripening grape truly flourishes in vineyards in Aconcagua, Maipo, Cachapoal, and Colchagua, where the warm, dry climate allows it to ripen thoroughly and develop rich red fruit, berry, black currant, and fig aromas and flavors. Some areas, such as Alto Maipo, have a distinctive eucalyptus edge that lends freshness. More complex versions often feature notes of tobacco, chocolate, black tea, black olive, licorice, tar, coffee, pencil lead, incense, and leather.
Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon ranges in style from simple, fruity, friendly wines that are great for informal occasions such as picnics, casual get-togethers, or Wednesday night dinner, to big, bold blockbusters full of luscious concentrated fruit and plenty of “wow factor.” And then there are those prized bottlings of elegantly reserved sophisticates that strike awe with poetic charm and perfect poise that will continue to impress for years to come.