Never a day goes by that I do not feel fortunate to work with these vines,” says Jean Pascal Lacaze, referring to the Quebrada de Macul vineyard; the Peña family planted the vines in 1970 and hired Lacaze to make the wine in 2002. Just on the outskirts of Santiago, Macul is where some of the first cabernet vines were planted in Chile, in the mid-19th century. Domus reflects that history in a cabernet with more of a sense of place than most of its neighbors in the Alto Maipo. In a fresh vintage such as 2011, the herbal, minty notes and red-fruit character of the site are accentuated, the wine filled with vivid aromas that blend with earthy notes. In terms of texture, this cabernet imposes its finesse with the fine point of delicate tannins. The wine’s vibrant acidity, bound into the tannins, was fashioned by the cool vintage and the cold breezes coming down from the Andes at the Quebrada de Macul. A classic Chilean cabernet, this captures and preserves the best aspects of Andean reds.
Even the 2011 Domus Aurea had been in bottle for a while, as it was bottled in March 2013, a little later than previous vintages. The process was similar to previous years, with a little longer élevage in cask, up to 18 months. The wine is really young, and the menthol, which is a constant in Domus Aurea and a character that shows when young, shows here in quite a subtle way. The wines then close up and this menthol disappears and resurfaces with time in bottle. Right now the nose is beautiful, quite primary with meaty fruit, very good ripeness and balsamic aromas; it is showy, attractive and open. The palate shows great balance and harmony, with sophisticated tannins, good freshness and acidity. This is among the top Cabernets from Chile, really superb in 2010 and 2011 -- two vintages that will be fascinating to follow and see which one is the winner in the long run. (LG)
A rich and fruity cab with black currant and lightly toasted oak. Medium to full body, silky tannins and a medium finish...
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