6 Cabernet Sauvignon Wines for $20 or Less (Wine Spectator)

Tasting Highlights’ wine reviews are fresh out of the tasting room, offering a sneak peek of our editors’ most recent scores and notes to WineSpectator.com members.

Cabernet Sauvignon has been the backbone of Chilean winemaking since it arrived in the country in the 19th century, when pre-phylloxera vines were brought in from Bordeaux. These hearty reds are now popular worldwide, known for their quality and accessible prices. We’ve rounded up several top examples of Cabernet from Chile in a variety of regions and styles. But they all share one very welcome characteristic: Not one is priced more than $20.

APALTAGUA Cabernet Sauvignon Curicó Valley Envero Gran Reserva 2016 Score: 91 | $17

WS Review: Fine-edged flavors of currant, dried berry and dried herbs blend well in this lithe red. Graphite and slate accents show on the pure-tasting finish, with hints of dried mint. Drink now through 2024. 250 cases imported.—Kim Marcus

Why It’s of Note: Apaltagua makes wine from six different wine regions in Chile; this bottling hails from their La Pancora property in Curicó Valley. The winery is currently working on a plan for environmental sustainability, including projects to reduce its use of artificial fertilizers, and to enhance water efficiency.

ODFJELL Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley Armador 2016 Score: 89 | $14

WS Review: Big, rich flavors of dark plum, green olive and dark currant feature hints of bacon and smoke. The sinewy finish is filled with dried savory accents. Drink now through 2023. 1,500 cases imported.—K.M.

Why It’s of Note: The Norwegian Odfjell family founded this winery 25 years ago. This Cabernet comes from the Maipo Valley, which is the hottest region of Chile’s Central Valley. It also has a lot of history: This is where Bordeaux varieties were first planted in Chile.

LOS VASCOS Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua Grande Reserve 2016 Score: 89 | $20

WS Review: Focused and minerally, with red plum, cherry and raspberry flavors, supported by fresh acidity. Green herbal and leafy notes show on the zesty finish. Drink now through 2023. 15,000 cases imported.—K.M.

Why It’s of Note: Los Vascos, named for its Basque origins, was purchased in 1988 by Bordeaux’s Domaines Barons de Rothschild, of Château Lafite Rothschild fame. Under their ownership and general manager Claudio Naranjo’s guidance, the winery makes great-value wines from its key vineyard at the foot of Mount Cañeten.

VIÑA AQUITANIA Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley 2016 Score: 88 | $20

WS Review: Notes of vanilla and hot stone accent the dried berry and cherry flavors. Mineral and spice details show on the brambly finish. Drink now through 2022. 1,000 cases imported.—K.M.

Why It’s of Note: Viña Aquitania was founded in 1990 in the heart of Maipo Valley, in the region of Quebrada de Macul, by two veterans of Bordeaux winemaking: Bruno Prats, at that time the owner of Château Cos-d’Estournel, and the late Paul Pontallier, former director of Château Margaux; they were joined by Chilean agronomist Felipe de Solminihac and Bollinger alum Ghislain de Montgolfier. This Cabernet makes a fine pairing with smoked meats or braised game.

VIÑA ESTAMPA Reserva Colchagua Valley 2016 Score: 88 | $15

WS Review: Dark plum and blackberry flavors dominate this ripe style. Baker’s chocolate and spice details show on the finish, with medium-grained tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2022. 2,500 cases imported.—K.M.

Why It’s of Note: This bottling from Viña Estampa exemplifies a lush, ripe style of Chilean Cabernet, here with a splash of Petit Verdot. High temperatures can be achieved in many of the country’s vineyards, notably in the mountain ranges like Colchagua’s, where sunlight influence is bolstered from well-positioned vines on slopes.

VIÑA MONTES Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua Valley Classic Series 2016 Score: 88 | $12

WS Review: Plush, with flavors of raspberry preserves backed by lively acidity and crisp, spicy accents. Notes of currant and dried green herbs show on the finish. Drink now through 2022. 20,000 cases imported.—K.M.

Why It’s of Note: Viña Montes was founded in 1987 by Aurelio Montes and Douglas Murray. They make wine from a variety of grapes, including Merlot, Syrah and, of course, Cabernet Sauvignon. Among their broad range, the Classic Series is a collection of wines for everyday drinking; they are priced accordingly, but the quality is consistently high.

Source : https://www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/6-Chile-Cabernet-Sauvignon-Wines-20-Dollars-Or-Less-57313