One of my “non-California wine” stories for the month. However, this was too delicious a wine not to write about! Domus Aurea (“House of Gold”) is a single-vineyard wine made from old vines in the renowned Clos Quebrada de Macul Vineyard. It overlooks Chile’s oldest wine-producing region. Not dissimilar from Napa Valley or Russian River in California allowing the cooling winds from the Pacific Ocean to come up the river or San Francisco Bay. The area is known for their full bodied red wines with strong flavors of black cherry and bold tannins.
The Wine: 2016 Viña Quebrada de Macul “Domus Aurea” Cabernet Sauvignon
This was a new wine for me, but from a very well-known region of Chile that I have enjoyed over time. 2016 Domus Aurea, one of the most classical among the Cabernets from Maipo, contains 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Merlot. For production 53% new French oak barrels and aged for 16 to 18 months.
First on the eyes a radiant purple in the glass and medium-heavy viscosity. On the nose, a blast of dark cherries, combined with oak and tannins awakes you instantaneously! But once opened and swirled for a while, you get the “real character” of this wine. Fresh cherries and hidden chocolate present themselves with freshness and balance. Something else was on the nose and a mystery until the second glass – a soft eucalyptus note that was truly enticing. On the palate, the purple and black fruits danced in merriment and were only calmed down with the earthiness of the region. The finish was like having a heavy Cabernet Sauvignon aged in oak from Napa. This was a “he-man Cabernet Sauvignon” and not for the faint-hearted red wine drinker. Right up my alley. It is unfiltered and the tannins were very present with just the right amount of angular enjoyment. Wine maker Jean-Pascal Lacaze produced one of the better wines coming out of this region. Robert Parker even rated it 97 points! Pricing is a bit scattered ranging from $55 to $87 from the well-known wine merchants.
Perhaps the best drinking Cabernet Sauvignon wines I have experienced from Chile.