MAX Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
We’ll go out in a limb here and say that this is one of the world’s great values in quality Cabernet Sauvignon and, beyond that, a Cabernet that utterly reflects where it is grown. A perfect package of fresh and savory fruits and spices within a frame of juicy and supple tannins that offer both pleasure and structure.
Maximiano Errazuriz founded Errazuriz in 1870 in the foothills of Mount Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Andes Mountains and the Western Hemisphere. Recognizing that this valley, with its hot, dry summers and cool Pacific Ocean breezes, was ideal for growing grapes, he sent for the finest clones from France and with tenacity and perseverance transformed this barren land into a world-class vineyard. Today, the tradition of quality lives on with Don Maximiano’s descendant, Eduardo Chadwick.
The inland Aconcagua Valley is a semi-desert region where the hot summer days are moderated both from the west by the Pacific and the east by the Andes mountains. The high day-night temperature differences slow ripening and help create an intensity of flavors and concentration. The grapes were specifically grown in three vineyard blocks with an average age of 25 years, with two of them containing soils of colluvial origin, a clay-loam texture and 70% stone composition, and the third block made up of soils of alluvial origin, with a loam to clay-loam texture with 50% stone composition.
Grapes were handpicked, sorted, destemmed, crushed and placed in open top stainless steel tanks, where the grapes underwent a cold maceration. Afterwards, the wine was kept in French oak barrels, 30% of them new, for malolactic fermentation and ageing for 12 months.
The 2018 vintage in the interior of the Aconcagua Valley will be remembered by its idyllic climate with an overall heat summation that was only 1% higher than average. The moderate temperatures allowed for a very balanced ripening and harvesting.
Bright ruby red color with violet hues of medium intensity. The nose has notes of red and black fruits such as raspberries, blackberries and cherries, accompanied by soft tone reminiscent of clove, licorice and bitter chocolate. On the palate, it is a juicy and fresh acidity that enhances the plums, blackberries, a hint of pomegranate and raspberries pastries. It has fine-grained tannins that lead to a refreshing acidity that balances the whole, crowned by an excellent persistence.
Environmentally friendly processes include using gravity instead of pumps to move wine, controlling temperatures with wind in underground ducts to avoid use of air conditioning, and using solar panels and special window glass to save energy.
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Wine Advocate - "The mild 2018 started with good water supply in Aconcagua, and the grapes used for the 2018 Max Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon from the inland part of the valley were balanced and healthy. The grapes fermented in stainless steel, and the wine matured for 12 months in French oak barrels, 30% of them new. This variety sees a longer élevage than others, so I caught the wine still unbottled. It's classical and balanced, with clean aromas and a tender mouthfeel with fine-grained tannins."
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