Like it or not Cabernet is king in Chile, responsible for some 40 percent of the nation’s wine production. Much of it is bottled as varietal Cabernet, whether a little blending wine sneaks in or not - which is totally legal by the way.
The prevalence of Cabernet is no accident though. The grape really seems to love the combination of soil, sun and weather that makes the terroir in central Chile ideal for Cabernet, the wines frequently big, bold and rich.
If you’re looking for something that shows a bit more restraint and elegance, moving towards the coast you can find Apalta. Here, the Cabernet seems to gains a wonderful lightness, though it is still powerfully structured and deeply flavored. The wines tends to fill the mouth with spirit, not weight. Casa Lapostolle is a pioneer in Apalta and their whole line-up has a distinct European sensibility about it. The standout for me is the Cabernet, a classic wine that will make an affordable addition to the cellar.
Must try wine: 2010 Casa Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre