La Ronciere - Licanten Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
94 pts Tim Akin MW
Founded in 1949 the family-owned and operated La Ronciere winery is part of the "new Chile" bringing global recognition to the country's best wines. Brothers José Antonio, Andres and Alejandro Orueta run the winery today, and their efforts are focused on exploring the unique terroirs and micro-climates of Chile. They're so revered in their homeland that the Licantén DO was created as their own in 2018! Yeah, they're the only producer in this incredible wine region. Their Idahue estate in Coastal Curico was planted in 2012 after two years of in-depth research and over 1000 exploratory soil pits were dug searching for the perfect plots in this unique terrain that lies just 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Their vineyards are strewn across rolling hills that are influenced by a coastal climate that remains slightly warmer than many of Chile's other coastal wine regions. This warmer coastal climate combined with incredible 300-million-year-old soils with veins of llicorella, lutites, gravel, and clay, are why the Oruetas chose this site as perfect location for producing beautifully balanced red wines.
Seven clones of Cabernet Sauvignon are grown across 66 small blocks on the estate, only the best micro-parcels are used for this wine. Each block is fermented separately and then carefully blended with 8% Syrah and 7% Cabernet Franc and aged for 10 months in new French oak barrels. The Cab Franc adds to the great aromatics of this beauty, with black cherry, dark chocolate, roasted coffee and bright minerals. The Syrah adds pep to the plush palate, with juicy cherry, wild plum, a kick of spice, more fresh minerals and fine persistent tannins. At once powerful and restrained, this Cabernet has the complexity and elegance of a great bottle of Bordeaux. Drink now, or happily age for another 8 years or so. Under $20 a bottle, this is the real deal!
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