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Scarlet Vine Selected Hillside Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Review

Scarlet Vine Selected Hillside Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Review

Scarlet Vine sources all of the juice for its wine from the Maipo Valley region in Chile.

Maipo Valley is arguably one of the best and most important regions in all of Chile for winemaking and boasts an impressive variety of soils and subclimates.

The region is located just south of Santiago, the country’s capital, and the area is commonly referred to as “the Bordeaux of South America.”

The region was one of the first winemaking regions in Chile, with wine being produced as early as the 1540s.

At the time, the wine was made from “mission grapes,” or grapes brought over by the Catholics for the sole purpose of producing wine primarily for religious ceremonies, such as communion.

The better-known “noble varietals” from France were not introduced to the region until the 1800s when the industry really started to bloom.

Scarlet Vine Selected Hillside Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Review

Scarlet Vine focuses on producing just one wine, an exceptional offering from hand-selected vineyards located in the Maipo Valley, right in the heart of Chile’s Central Valley.

While the particular sourcing is not disclosed, the winemaker states that at least one of the vineyards from which fruit is sourced is over 100 years old!

I would wager that, given the richness of the fruit, along with relatively low tannic structure, the vineyards used are located in the Central Maipo area.

This tends to produce a fuller, more rustic style of wine than some of the higher altitude subregions located within Maipo.

Scarlet Vine Selected Hillside Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Summary

  • Brand: Scarlet Vine
  • Country: Chile
  • Region: Maipo Valley
  • Wine Type: Red Wine
  • Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
  • ABV: 13.5%

Appearance

The wine is an almost tarnished garnet color in the glass, with a fairly vibrant meniscus sitting at the edge of the wine.

The legs are moderate, forming and falling at a relatively quick pace in the glass.

Smell

There is a lot going on with the aromatics here.

Notes of fresh herbs, blackberry, dark plum, and ripe cherries mingle with secondary notes of leather, smoked meat, and toasty oak, with just a bit of graphite-like minerality to underscore some of the bolder smells which are present.

Complex and powerful, I found the aromas to be quite enjoyable.

Taste

This is a pretty bold style of Cabernet, considering the region it is from.

There is some decent tannin here, along with just enough acidity to help offset the veritable parade of fruit.

There are flavors of blackberry, blueberries, and overripe cherries throughout, along with a bit of toast oak, vanilla, grilled red peppers, and cedar.

There are also some nice baking spice notes here, particularly clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

The wine comes to a close with a bit of garrigue and mint on the finish, which I wasn’t expecting.

It helps to lend a sense of freshness to the wine after each sip, which was nice given how long of a finish this bottle has.

What does Scarlet Vine Selected Hillside Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon pair with?

Personally, I really enjoy wines such as this one with American Mexican-style foods.

The rich fruit matches power with the savory sauces, there is a bit of a meaty character that works well with the food, and the roasted pepper notes I got mesh well with many dishes.

I would go for something featuring a hefty portion of chorizo and a bit of cheese on top.

What wines are similar to Scarlet Vine Selected Hillside Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon?

Casillero del Diablo from Concha Y Toro is another fantastic entry-level Cab from Chile, though it is a little bit lighter overall.

You could also reach for a bottle of Catena Cabernet, which is produced by one of the world’s most respected South American wineries.

I would also recommend trying other South American Cabernet from different areas.

Mendoza over in Argentina is a fantastic region for this varietal and features some of the best in the world.

To dip your toes in the water, I would recommend trying anything from Rodolfo Sadler.

He is a master winemaker who specializes in Cabernet and Cabernet-heavy blends. Notable offerings include Eccentric, Ed Edmundo, and Unanime, which are all favorites of mine.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I would say that this is not a bad bottle for an introduction to Chilean Cabernet.

Given the modest price, I would recommend picking up a bottle to try if you are a fan of Cabernet.