2018 Clos De Luz “Massal 1945” Cabernet Sauvignon, Almahue, Rapel Valley, Chile (Alcohol 13.8%, Residual Sugar 2 g/l) LCBO Vintages $21.95 (750ml bottle)

Perhaps it’s down to the clonal variation inherent to Massal plantings, the grand age of the vines, or a combination of the two, but this Chilean Cabernet, hailing from Massal selection old vines planted in 1945, truly sang for me.

The bouquet is one of classic Chilean Cab notes, so expect lashings of cassis, cedar, sandalwood, pencil lead, and mint. While all this was well and good, and something that the better Chilean producers pull off with particular élan, it was actually the relatively weighty structure of this wine that really worked for me.

The tannins are undeniably firm and yet pleasantly dusty and powdery, like quality raw cocoa powder. There’s some serious power, heft, and density here, but it all sits rather perfectly in balance, something that’s a relative rarity at this price. The extended graphite-like finish, replete with those exquisite tannins, is a real delight to behold.

Personally, I enjoyed the chewy tannins a great deal, but if one isn’t having this alongside some grilled red meat I’d suggest a good decant an hour or so before your first glass. Or perhaps you could sit on it for five years or more?

4.5 apples out of 5
(Four and half apples out of a possible five)