Special Occasion Wines Worth The Price


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If you’re going to splurge for a wine, look to Chile where the values are often outrageously good; that’s true in most every price tier. When you add dollars to what you spend the value often follows along. Such is the case with the relatively new addition to the Montgras line, Intriga. This is their Icon wine and no surprise it’s a Cabernet Sauvignon as many of the greatest wines of Chile are. When I’m spending big dollars for wine I want a selection that’s going to blow me away as well as anyone I pour it for. And while I’m likely splurging to drink soon, I want something that has the stuffing to age. Those attributes apply to Intriga which I recently tasted alongside winemaker Cristián Correa. His passion for making great wine in Chile is simply infectious and he strives for that in every tier. But with Intriga he is focused on making the single best wine possible from the greatest and most special spot in their estate vineyards. Guess what? He nailed it. The 2012 vintage of Intriga isn’t just great, it’s simply phenomenal. It’s quite possibly the single best wine that has passed my lips so far this year. Intriga is a single vineyard, block selection offering, of which a mere 200 cases were produced. The maximum projected production in future vintages is 500 cases, still a mere pittance. It’s predominately Cabernet Sauvignon (85%), with small amounts of Cabernet Franc (9%) and Petit Verdot (6%) blended in. Earth, dust, bits of mushroom and red berry fruit aromas light up the exuberant nose. The palate is strewn with an avalanche of fresh, lively fruit which is balanced from the first to the last by firm, bracing acidity. A who’s who of spices comes along for the ride as well. Earth, minerals, chicory and warming red fruits are all party of the prodigiously long finish which also has a velvety texture to it. Intriga is so perfectly balanced that it would be hard to overstate that fact. If you’re in the shrinking minority that doesn’t realize Chile can grow distinct Cabernet Sauvignon as impressive as the other great regions of the world, a couple of sips of Intriga will change your mind. With almost 2 months left in the year, I doubt I’m going to taste something that knocks me out more than this did; it’s my wine of the year. Buy it before it’s gone.
Gabe Sasso, Gabe’s View

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