Showing posts with label Vina Casa Silva. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vina Casa Silva. Show all posts

Thursday, August 28, 2014

My Favourite New World Cabernets

I love Cabernet Sauvignon. So in honour of #CabernetDay on Twitter, I decided to put a list together of my favourite Cabs, both single varietal bottles and blends. Prices range from inexpensive to premium. Here they are sorted by region: 


1. Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 or 2012. $20 CDN
A pronounced and perfumed bouquet of red fruit, roses and black pepper will seduce you. Fresh flavours of red currant, musk and green pepper will leave you wanting more. Ripe, grippy tannins are well integrated to the concentrated mouthfeel. Pair with grilled red meats or pot roast.

2. Concha y Toro Terrunyo Block Las Terrazas DO Pirque 2008 $33 CDN
The Maipo subregion in Chile is known to show hints of menthol in their Cabernet Sauvignons, and this wine reflects this with a flavour profile of dark cherries, eucalyptus and a hint of mint. The wine is unfiltered, but adds powerful tannins that don't overpower the palate. This has been my go-to bottle for #CabernetDay the past 2 years in a row.

3. Vina Casa Silva Dona Dominga Cabernet Carmenere 2011 $15 CDN 
The 2011 Dona Dominga Cabernet Carmenere is a fun, juicy and fruity red with aromas of blackberries, spices and coffee. The ripe tannins are well integrated to the body and structure of the wine. This wine pairs well with more casual foods like pizza and burgers, as well as with meats like venison and prime rib. An easy drinking, mouth-pleasing red wine. 

4. Errazuriz Max Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 $20 CDN
A full-bodied, intense wine with a flavour profile of blackberries, coffee & tobacco leaf. Vegetal notes mid-palate that intertwine well with the ripe tannins. Very food friendly, great with lamb and can handle a heavier cut of beef.


1. Majella Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 $40 CDN
Deep ruby in colour, with notes of red cherries, green bell pepper and a lovely medicinal hint. The full body boasts racy acidity and well-integrated tannins. Complex and shows its terroir well.

2. Wynn's Coonawarra Estate Cabernet Shiraz Merlot 2010 $20 CDN
Coonawarra Cabernets tend to carry a menthol note in the wine, and this one does not disappoint in that regard! Each varietal in the blend is well represented in this full-bodied beauty, with plum, blackberry, spice and coffee notes. The soft, silky tannins last well into the long finish. This wine pairs well with roasted lamb and gamey meats, and can also be enjoyed on it's own. 

United States

1. Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2009 $120+ CDN
This is the big splurge of the list, but it is well worth it! The bouquet is an intoxicating blend of red currant, blackberries and a hint of mocha. Elegant, well-structured tannins and a smooth, full body on the palate leave you wanting more! The smoky finish adds to the appeal of this premium wine. Consumable now, but also has an aging potential of 10 years.

2. Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 $15-$20 CDN
This wine is perfect for a BBQ or a casual weeknight dinner, and is excellent value for the money. A fruit-forward, fun wine with notes of currants, blackberries and a hint of asparagus. Ripe tannins and mouth-watering acidity make this wine an excellent accompaniment to steak and burgers. 


1. Laughing Stock Vineyards Portfolio - Any Vintage $40-$50 CDN
Ok, this one isn't much of a value. But it is my favourite Canadian Cabernet blend, consisting of 61% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot. A powerful red wine with notes of red cherries, eucalyptus and black olives on the palate. There is a subtly beautiful hint of oak that doesn't overpower the flavour profile. The tannins are supple but strong, and this wine could still benefit from a few more years in the cellar although it is drinking well now. Decant for 1-2 hours before drinking. 

2. Mission Hill Five Vineyards Cabernet Merlot 2011 $20 CDN
Notes of fresh strawberries, blackcurrant leaves and green beans are intertwined with mouthwatering acidity and grippy tannins. This lively, easy drinking wine would be great to bring to a BBQ and pairs well with burgers and grilled pork.

3. Sumac Ridge Estate Winery Cabernet Merlot 2011 $15-$20 CDN
This wine has the approachable charm of a Merlot combined with the body and structure of a cool climate Cabernet Sauvignon. Notes of plum, blackberry and green bell pepper with a smooth finish. Excellent on it's own or paired with grilled pork and roasted chicken. A fun wine to share with good company!

Hopefully you find a wine here you'd like to try, also like some of these wines, or find this helpful when shopping. If you do have luck here, I'd love to hear about it! 

Cheers, and if you made it this far, thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Vina Casa Silva: Harmony from Vineyard to Bottle

Last Wednesday night a girlfriend and I attended a wine tasting hosted by Vina Casa Silva, one of the more prestigious wineries in Chile. Although the Vina Casa Silva brand was founded in 1997 by Mario Pablo Silva, the family has been in Chile since 1892 when the first generation arrived from the St Emilion region of Bordeaux. Since then, five generations have been devoted to wine production and are considered pioneer winemakers of the Colchagua Valley.

Vina Casa Silva places high priority on sustainability, quality, and family. The winery strives to live life in harmony with the environment, and to produce the finest wines possible. They have achieved 100% vineyard certification under the Sustainability Code of Wines of Chile, one of only three wineries to do so. Their tasting panel consists of 3 Silva family members and two enologists that work closely together to ensure the best possible quality of the wine from vineyard to bottling. Vina Casa Silva also prides itself on using manual viticultural and vinification techniques in conjunction with modern technology. They were Wine and Spirits Winery of the Year in 2010 and the awards continue to roll in for their wines every year.

Vina Casa Silva was showcasing 5 different wines at this particular tasting:

-Dona Dominga Sauvignon Blanc/ Semillon 2012
-Sauvignon Gris 2011
-Dona Dominga Cabernet Carmenere 2011
-Carmenere Reserva 2009
-Quinta Generacion 2009

The 2012 Dona Dominga Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon is well balanced, with an intoxicating bouquet of passion fruit, pineapple and fresh cut grass. The refreshing acidity lasts well into the long finish. If you prefer a fruitier Sauvignon Blanc blend, this is a must try! Pairs well with salads and mild cheeses and is excellent on it's own as well.

The 2011 Sauvignon Gris has more minerality than the Sauvignon Blanc. With a flavour profile of ripe bananas, green apple and steel, this wine shows great intensity and is also well-balanced. It's surprising complexity makes it stand out compared to other white wines.

The 2011 Dona Dominga Cabernet Carmenere is a fun, juicy and fruity red with aromas of blackberries, spices and coffee. The ripe tannins are well integrated to the body and structure of the wine. This wine pairs well with more casual foods like pizza and burgers, as well as with meats like venison and prime rib. An easy drinking, mouth-pleasing red wine that is a steal at $14 CDN!

The 2009 Quinta Generacion is a blend of Carmenere, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Petit Verdot. The wine is beautifully structured with elegant tannins, fresh acidity and a full-bodied mouthfeel. Complex aromas of cloves, black pepper, capsicum pepper, leather, and hazelnuts. Smooth, expressive and seductive. This wine can age another 5-7 years in the cellar, or can be opened and enjoyed today. Another great value wine at $31 CDN and is too beautiful not to try!

My personal favourite of the night was the 2009 Carmenere Reserva. Carmenere is a Chilean specialty, and Vina Casa Silva makes a beautiful representation that really shows it off! The perfumed bouquet reflects notes of cherries, leather and spice. Wonderfully balanced with soft tannins and a full mouthfeel. A hint of red bell pepper, a tell-tale sign of the Carmenere varietal, shows the expressiveness of the wine. Another fantastic deal at $18 CDN. I will likely be drinking this wine over and over again as it has become one of my favourite value reds!

The tasting was hosted by Marcelo Pino, Casa Silva's Sommelier Ambassador. He has been working with the winery for years, and is also certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers. What makes him stand out from others is that he won the Best Sommelier in Chile award in 2011! He is also a water expert and originally trained as a chef before studying wine. He allowed us to grab a picture with him after the tasting-I am on the left.
The Chilean wine region has plenty to offer it's fans; it is the only wine region in the world that is free of Phylloxera, and their use of modern viticultural and winemaking technology has raised the quality of their wines to be on par with some of the most well known wine making countries in the world. Vina Casa Silva takes Chilean wine to the next level with the great care they take in the vineyards, to the quality measures taken in the winemaking techniques they use. Their wines reflect the terroir of Chile and the Colchagua Valley and are well balanced and complex, making the wines a great value and must not be missed. 

For more information on Vina Casa Silva, click here to go to their website. 
They also have a great video on YouTube that provides an overview of the winery, available in both English and Spanish. Click here for the English version.