top of page

WINE OF THE WEEK: Cabernario No. 8 Ungrafted Vines Cabernet Sauvignon 2020, Maipo Valley, Chile

£12.99, Waitrose

There's 15 per cent Syrah in this Chilean red, and to beneficial effect, but even so the wine comes across as very Cabernet Sauvignon in style and character – intense, sweet blackcurrant fruit, green-herb and wet-stone freshness, smooth tannins and deftly integrated, smoky, spicy oak. (It was aged in French oak barrels, 30% new, for 10 months.)

There's also some soy-sauce meatiness and sun-warmed earthy spice, which could be the Syrah but might simply be the extra depth gained from old, ungrafted, dry-farmed vines. The vineyard, Plot No. 8 in Maipo Valley, was planted in 1964.

The thinking is that ungrafted vines – meaning on their own roots, instead of being grafted onto phylloxera-resistant American rootstock like most of the world's vines – are in direct contact with the soil and as a result are more expressive of precisely where they are growing.

Who knows? But the roots of Plot No. 8's vines reach over 30 feet and the wine is certainly expressive. It's powerful, too, but the fresh herbal lift ensures it isn't hefty.

All in all, it's very good value and that herbal character means that it goes with vegetables, especially roast roots, pumpkins, red peppers, onions, sweet potato and beetroot. It pairs particularly well with red meat, pork and duck and can handle spiced dishes, even chilli con carne, as long as you don't go overboard with the chilli. 14%. Empty bottle weight: 762g, which is way more than it should be.

Cabernario No. 8 Ungrafted Vines Cabernet Sauvignon 2020, Maipo Valley, Chile

£13.99, or £10.49 in any six-bottle mix until 3 October, Waitrose


bottom of page