Los Vascos 2004 Colchagua Cabernet Sauvignon ($9.99)
Back in the late 1980s, the proprietors of Bordeaux's Domaines Barons de Rothschild, producers of first-growth Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, joined with California's Chalone to purchase this already respected Chilean producer and pledged to upgrade and modernize its facilities. As it turned out, high-end Rothschild continues to position Los Vascos ("The Basques") as an "affordable" wine made in significant quantities, more than 3 million bottles per year. Very dark ruby in color with reddish-orange glints, an initial high-toned whiff of volatile acidity blows off to reveal more characteristic Cabernet aromas of black fruit with fresh herbs - tarragon and oregano. Flavors follow the nose, lean and rather austere, good acidity and soft tannins. There's a definite French accent here in a wine with Bordeaux-like character, but frankly, it's like a rather low-end generic Bordeaux. US Importer: Pasternak Wine Imports, Harrison, N.Y. (Sep 2, 2006)

FOOD MATCH: Lamb braised with fennel.

WEB LINK: http://www.lafite.com/

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