MAX Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
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. In addition to Cabernet, a small portion of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc rounds out the blend.
Grapes were handpicked, sorted, destemmed, crushed and placed in open top stainless steel tanks, where the grapes underwent a cold maceration for 8 to 28 days before fermentation. Afterwards, the wine was kept in French oak barrels, 25% of them new, for malolactic fermentation and ageing for 12 months.
The 2017 vintage in the interior of the Aconcagua Valley will be remembered by the hot temperatures recorded throughout the season. Nevertheless, the winery was able to manage this by careful irrigation management, increasing the water supply during the hottest periods and by harvesting significantly earlier.
The nose stands out for its complexity, with notes of red fruits such as raspberries, cassis and cherries, accompanied by soft tones reminiscent of tobacco, dill, laurel and a light touch of mint, all framed by aromas of chocolate, mocha and clove. On the palate the wine is juicy and spicy, with a fresh acidity that enhances the red fruit, accompanied by sweet notes of pastries, chocolate and nuts delivered by the French oak. It has sweet and fine-grained tannins that lead to a refreshing acidity and overall balanced wine with a persistent finish.
Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot
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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