Tuesday, 29 April 2014

From the Tasting Room : Chakana Cabernet Sauvignon

Killer Cabernet Sauvignon & Malbec…if this had Napa Valley on the label, it would sell for $50+” - Robert Parker, tweeting from Chakana - High praise indeed from one of the world's most highly respected wine critics.

Chakana, the producer, is the term given to the Southern Cross constellation of stars by the natives from the Andes highlands. This is a group of stars that will be familiar to anyone who has gone to the Southern Hemisphere and any vexillophiles (a flag enthusiast - the Southern Cross features on a number of flags including Australia and New Zealand).
"The Southern Cross or The Chakana holds the key to finding the perfect timing for the cultivation and harvesting of crops. It is a calendar, a compass and a symbol of the link between earth and spirit [for the native Andean people]. It is represented by a square cross that embodies the knowledge of the people who inhabited the Andes mountains from Ecuador to Mendoza for more than 5000 years. Using this symbol, the Andeans were able to develop a society of equality and integration with nature."
The team at Chakana are supported by Alberto Antonini, of Antinori and Frescobaldi fame, who championed the Super Tuscans of Italy and identified the alarming potential of Argentinean Malbec. Alberto looks to extract the true essence of grape and terroir at each property; his skills are highly sought-after and he consults on wines from US, South Africa, Australia, Romania, Armenia, Chile and Italy.

Chakana Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

A definite herbacious, menthol nose that also gave off a sense of blackcurrant leaf. This can be an indicator of under-ripe grapes. These "green" notes gave way though to fresh blackcurrants and hedgerow fruits.

The fruit was much more prominent on the palate - mouthfulls of juicy, vibrant berry - but with it some more of that menthol from the nose. Something not too dissimilar to having a mouthful of freshly picked brambles in the height of summer straight after removing your chewing gum. Perhaps not the most appertising analogy, but still appropriate. You could also add a bit of cocoa in there for good measure!

For so much flavour the finish was surprisingly short. However, because of that intense palate with a soft finish, this would pair well with milder dishes or a good old-fashioned roast.

Wine Details:
Chakana Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Mendoza, Argentina
14.5% abv

Alex, David and Adam
Averys Wine Bloggers

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