(Vintage 2014, Red) Country: Chile  Region: Aconcagua Valley  Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon

Chilean wines date back to when Missionaries introduced vines and wine making in the mid-sixteenth century. However, the modern wine industry began in 1851 when grapes, and methods of viniculture and viticulture, were imported from Bordeaux moments before Phylloxera devastated France’s vineyards. Chilean vines have never been infected, and due to its fortunate geographical position bordered by the Andes, the Atacama Desert and winds from the Pacific, mildew is not a problem.

Rio Alto is in the Aconcagua Valley, rich in winemaking history, first practiced during the colonial period. Aconcagua is named for the highest peak in the Andes. It’s made up of two distinct wine zones that encompass both the hottest, driest region as well as a Pacific-influenced region. Both offer exceptional environmental possibilities for grape growing.

Made from 100% estate-grown and bottled Cabernet Sauvignon, this offering is a deep ruby red color with bountiful rich cherry aromas combined with hints of chocolate and black pepper. The palate presents a medium-structured body, soft texture that is round and elegant. Flavors of vanilla, ripe red fruits and coffee match well with integrated tannins.

Enjoy it now, or cellar properly for another five years. Serve at room temperature in large goblets with roast beef, lamb chops, braised pork loin and medium cheeses.

CABERNET SAUVIGNON GRAPES — Widely planted, this red grape is a prolific grower — small, dark, thick skinned and late-maturing. One of the world’s most widely recognized grape varieties, it originated in the 17th century with the crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. It ages well, and usually produces tannic wines with black currant/cassis nuances; but flavors and characteristics vary with growing region.

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