Santa Rita, Cabernet Sauvignon 120, Rapel Valley, Chile, 2005

Much better than expected. This baby was brought from home, tucked into my luggage as I left JFK to return to my labor camp in Seoul.  That I bothered to accompany my (far more expensive) clothes with this $5 bottle of wine, just waiting to explode its wonderful redness, is testament to the lengths one must often go to experience even mediocre wines in Korea.

This is no fine wine; but it’s good fun: sweet cherry and strawberry high notes that disappear too quickly. Airy, lacking body, but pretty face (remind you of anyone?). Not well integrated. Fun tannins that steal the show from a short eucalyptus-tinged finish that could have, would have been nice if hadn’t been over powered by acidity.

More raw than round. Grassy, with hints of not-quite-ripe green pepper. Sussurations of moss, wood and spice are almost there, just too distant to really be heard–it’s probably my imagination. The color is impenetrable dark purple.

Bought at Trader Joe’s, New York City

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