95 pts wine Advocate Issue #247 Feb 2020
I tasted two vintages of one of my favorite Cabernet Sauvignons from Chile, starting with the 2015 Domus Aurea, which was cropped from a warm and dry year they told me was similar to 2012. This always contains other varieties, but it’s always at least 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and therefore is sold as a varietal wine. In 2015, the balance is 6% Petit Verdot, 5% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc. It fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured in French oak barrels, 48% of them new, for 16 to 18 months. The 2015 and 2016 vintages could not be more different, and the wines clearly show the style of the vintage. This 2015 is much more expressive and immediate, open, aromatic and extroverted, and it shows its true colors from the moment it’s poured. It’s nicely built, powerful but elegant and balanced, with pungent flavors and very fine tannins. This is a classical expression of Domus Aurea and Maipo, with clear notes of balsam and herbs.