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Gracia de Chile 'Pasajero' Cabernet Sauvignon 1999
Chile has become something of a byword for producing ripe, fruity, full-on wines which epitomise New World style. This particular example was brought over from Chile to compete in the International Wine Challenge 2000. Having scooped a gold medal (as it did in similar contests in Brussels and France), there was no shortage of UK wine dealers clamouring to import it into the country. The hand-picked grapes for this wine come from the Maipo Valley, which is arguably Chile's finest region for Cabernet Sauvignon. It spent six months maturing in French oak barrels, and this has given a subtle toasty complexity on the nose. The wine also displays beautiful cherry and blackcurrant fruit and there is more of that bittersweet cherry fruit flooding the palate. Although there's a plummy depth of flavour to this wine, it is brightly styled, with juicy acidity and tannins giving a lip-smacking, moreish quality. Balanced and well-structured, this wine drinks beautifully but will also keep for a few years if correctly stored.
UK stockist: Oddbins, Virginwines.com, Co-op 5.99