OK, not a literal trip to Chile.
This was my first South American Cabernet Sauvignon, if I’m not mistaken. From the Maipo Valley, the 2005 Santa Ema spent 9 months in French oak barrels, and then a handful of months in my cellar after being given to me by my father as a gift. I don’t even remember the reason, and I’m not sure that was particularly useful information. I’m also not sure I care.
At any rate, the Santa Ema is relatively average in alcohol content, at 14% ABV, which is a nice change if you’re like me, and getting tired of the 14.5%-15.5% that seems more common from a lot of American wines these days.
In the glass, the Santa Ema is a bright ruby red, fading a bit to an almost pinkish hue at the edges. On the nose are a bunch of red fruits: mostly raspberry, a little cherry, and even a hint of strawberry. Not what I’m used to from Cabernet Sauvignon, but enjoyable, if fruit-forward. Where are the black fruits? Not here.
The wine is lightly oaked and medium-bodied. The red fruit notes from the nose pass through to the palate quite nicely, and the wine is very fruit-forward. There’s a subtlety, however, that doesn’t seem to exist in the “fruitbombs” from Australia or California. Something cultural, perhaps?
Whatever it is, this extreme red fruit Cabernet is much more enjoyable than others I’ve had. Still not the best I’ve ever had, but easy to recommend. Highly, even.