Maipo Andes Valley, Chile
James Suckling 91 points! Wine Advocate 89 points!
El Principal represents a winery from Chile taking Cabernet and Carmenere to an entirely new level. Located in the Alto Maipo, these vineyard sites lie at the foot of the Andes mountains up to 950 meters in altitude. Winds creep over the Andes and cool down these sites late in the afternoon to help preserve remarkable acidity despite the warmth of the Maipo region. Low yields give great concentration and create a unique spiced potpourri aroma on each wine. With the advice of Monsieur Patrick Leon (famed from his work at Chateau Mouton Rothschild) and winemaking expertise of Gonzalo Guzman, these wines will over-deliver for a fraction of the price that Napa offers.
El Principal Calicanto is a red blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Carménère, 9% Syrah, 9% Petit Verdot and 7% Cabernet Franc. Red cherry aromas dominate tobacco notes on top of the spicy components, perfectly polished tannins and a balanced finish. The wine is aged for 12 months in 100% French oak barrels (second use.)
Enjoy El Principal Calicanto over the next 5-7 years with grilled meats, short ribs, rich vegetable dishes and aged cheeses.