The 2012 La Playa Estate Series Cabernet Sauvignon is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc sourced from La Playa’s 600 acre sustainably farmed vineyard in the Colchagua Valley sub region of the Rapel Valley inside Chile’s Central Valley. The Colchagua Valley is one of Chile’s premier growing areas for Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Carmenere. The grapes were hand picked and this is not a mass produced wine, 8,500 cases produced, a good sized production run, but small for many wines in this price range. The wine was aged for 10 months in stainless steel vats and then for another 2 months French and American oak barrels. The alcohol content is 13.9%.
The color is a rich, deep, black cherry red. The nose is mainly black cherry and pepper with a little blackberry, vanilla and newly mown lawn added in. This is a lean, nicely balanced Cabernet with some solid structure, oh, by the way, it lists for $8. It begins with plum and cherry, chocolate powder, smooth vanilla and tart cranberry. The mid palate brings some curry spice and sweet strawberry. The tannins are well integrated, you can sense them, but they do not bite and the acidity allows this Cabernet Sauvignon to work well as a food wine. The finish is surprisingly subdued, considering the body of the wine, but lasts for a decent length of time.
A sustainably grown, hand picked, Estate wine, from a premier appellation, that is aged for 12 months and sells for 8 bucks, is proof that Chile is a dream come true for value priced wine fans. The La Playa Cabernet Sauvignon is made more in the Bordeaux mold than the California style, a little leaner, a touch less fruit, the tannins and the acidity are a proud part of the flavor profile. At 8 bucks, it is a sold choice for your local, trendy BYOB and it is priced like a Tuesday night wine, but isn’t that far off of your typical Saturday night wine.