Friday, June 25, 2010

WN: Haras de Pirque 2005 Character Cabernet Sauvignon

It's been a while since I've had a Chilean wine and the Haras de Pirque 2005 Character Cabernet Sauvignon has left me wondering why I don't try them more often. I guess part of the issue is only fairly large scale producers seem to be distributed in the US and sometimes their wines veer towards the international style in terms of ripeness and oak. Putting style aside, though, Chilean wines tend to perform quite well for the price as was the case with this Cab.

The producer, according to their website, has dual interests in breeding horses and producing wine, hence the horseshoe and grape leaf on the label. If you ask me, the design looks a bit cheap, but what's in the bottle delivers really well for $15 at my local Costco. Character is a perfect name for the wine. If you ever wanted to show someone what black currant smells like, this would be the wine to do it with. The tar and intense black currant are classic Chilean expressions of Cabernet, while in any region Cabernet tends to express black currants and can have a hollow mid-palate. Aside from being a very good (but not quite great) wine, it has tons of character. Most of the wines at Costco just aren't very interesting, but this is one of those that fell through cracks and even has a wee bit of age on it to boot.

On the topic of black currants, there's a nice blog post on it over at wine.woot. Black currant aromas actually result from a volatile sulfur compound. This may have to do with the tar/petroleum/rubber aromas typical in Chilean Cabs as too much of the black currant compound will smell like something a bit nasty. Personally, I like it as it's a regional characteristic. But others probably don't feel quite the same way.
  • 2005 Haras de Pirque Cabernet Sauvignon Character - Chile, Central Valley, Maipo Valley
    Essence of black currants on the nose with a little tar. Classic Chilean Cab. Dark fruit attack, hollow mid-palate, earthy and iron finish. Full bodied, medium acidity, integrated oak. Well-made, so typical of varietal and place it's not even funny.


Jeff said...

I've seen this one at Costco...but I always have the same reservations about the Chilean stuff. Montes Alpha is pretty good, but I also find it kinda boring. Still, cheaper and more well-made than Napa. I'll check this one out though.

Jeff said...

I picked up a bottle of this and drank it this weekend. Very tasty.

Thanks for the recommendation.