Vina Penalolen is the entry level Cabernet from one of the world’s best valued, premium Cabernets, the Vina Quebrada de Macul Domus Aurea Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from the Vina Quebrada de Macul vineyard in Chile’s Maipo Valley. For those of you who find the Domus Aurea a bit expensive for their liking this is a good way to get a feel for the big guy at a fraction of the price, in particular with the 2018 vintage. The 2018 Vina Penalolen Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a very strong vintage and kicks just about everything at its price point to the curb. We were fortunate enough to evaluate it against several other high scoring Cabernets out of Chile and there was no doubt among the team that this was the hands down winner by a mile. Here you get a wine that gives a glimpse of why its big brother has received all its fanfare, without the expense. Medium – fuller bodied, and offering mouth coating assorted dark red fruit, its plush mouth feel and supple tannins makes this a sensory experience, with some spicy earth tones adding complexity and intrigue to the whole package. There’s a lot going on here and in a more downplayed, but over delivering way it gives a glimpse of the Domus Auroa at a fraction of the price. This is one of the better sub $20 Cabernets we have found out there in awhile and at $17.99 with normal discounts applying, this is pretty hard to resist. For all you Cabernet lovers come and stock up.
93 pts Descorchados Jan 2022
This wine comes from vineyards planted in 2013 in the Quilín area, in Alto Maipo. This is the third vintage of those young vineyards, and it’s more than auspicious. With 88% cabernet sauvignon, 7% petit verdot, and the rest is cabernet franc, the blend is a perfect example of the local wines, the herbal and earthy aromas, with spicy tones and red fruits in a medium body and very well-defined, sharp, firm tannins.
Peñalolén winery was founded by vineyard owner Ricardo Peña and his wife Isabel. They are focused on producing unique Chilean wines, full of personality and verve. The wines are made by winemaker Jean-Pascal Lacaze, well respected for his deft hand in producing memorable wines. All grapes are grown and hand harvested with meticulous care to guarantee the integrity of the fruit, and picked early in the morning when the weather is coolest. Peñalolén truly is a family-owned, boutique winery committed to making wines of distinction.
Low yields and hand harvesting indicate the care given to the superior fruit from this single-vineyard winery located on the gravelly slopes of the Maipo Valley. These standards extend to the wine-making process, with meticulous grape selection and aging in French oak barrels for 12 months. Made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc, this is a complex and velvety wine with a soft structure, spicy tannins and a fruity finish.