Introducing the “Super Chilean” – You Need to Try This

Introducing the “Super Chilean” – You Need to Try This

Posted on Dec, 16. 2010 by

Categories: Wine

Evan here. As you may have noticed, I don’t typically write these e-mail offers; Will and Kevin taste far more samples than I have the occasion to, so that’s only natural…but once in awhile, I come across a wine that I simply must tell you all about, so I have to muscle those guys out of their email spot. I think the last time I did this, it was a Defcon-5’er, so you can trust that I don’t do this for any old wine.

The one I’m giddy about today is the Viña Maquis ‘Lien’, what they’re calling a “Super Chilean”…a play on the ever-popular “Super Tuscan”. It’s a gorgeous blend of Syrah, Carmenere, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec, and for me, it combines the greatest elements I’ve found in South American winegrowing: plush, ripened dark fruit; the power of a freight train; the grace of a dancer; the rusticity of old Italian and French countryside wines; and perhaps most importantly, a low price tag that I almost cannot believe. The ripeness and richness is wholly apparent when you get the first smell of the glass – blackberry jam, reduced, concentrated, utterly powerful and almost brutish. However, as you spend more time with it, it blossoms slowly, revealing that soft, dusty old herbal character of Provençal Mourvedre. It was about that time that I noticed on the label that the current release is from 2006!

I’ve always had a soft spot for “new world” producers that take a page from the book of traditional winemakers in Barolo, etc. and hold on to their wines until they feel that they’re ready – partly because they’ve done the cellaring for me, and partly because most people don’t have the discipline to age inexpensive wine. The Lien embodies that concept, because it’s just drinking perfectly right now, a delicate balance of modern power and historical grace.

I won’t take up any more of your time with my prose, though, except to say that this is one of my top wines of the year in terms of what you’re getting here…for mere pocket change! This is a perfect wine for many an occasion, deep enough to impress your wine geek pals, but delicious enough to break open for parties (it’s also got great packaging: a well-designed label with tissue paper wrapping, making it perfect for gifts as well).

But hey, don’t just take my word for it…the critics have nothing but glowing praise for the Lien as well:

Maquis Lien 2006 receives 90 points. “Mellow, smoky aromas of cherry, singed plum, licorice and oak. Packs a solid punch, offering sweet dark fruit flavors and good spicy lift. Shows an exotic floral quality on the long, sappy, sharply focused finish.”
– Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, March/April 2010

Maquis Lien 2006 awarded 90 points. “Excellent balance, forward, and tasty.” One of the World’s Best Value Wines Under $25.
– Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, October 2010

Maquis Lien 2006 awarded 90 points. “The nose reveals aromas of ripe black fruit and cassis that are mirrored on the palate with violet notes and black pepper. The wine shows good body, round tannins and a long and persistent finish.”
– International Wine Review, February 2010

Michael Franz of winereviewonline.com awards the ’06 vintage 91 points and names it “Wine of the Year,” describing it as a “phenomenal over-achiever showing the complexity, texture and overall class of a much more expensive wine.”
– Winereviewonline.com, Jan 2010

In his 2010 Buying Guide, Master of Wine and Master Sommelier Ronn Wiegand calls the Maquis Lien 2006 “a supple, full bodied, well balanced blend, with black licorice, toast, cassis, and cedar aromas/flavors, and a long finish. Excellent. ” Four stars.
– Restaurant Wine, Issues 133 & 134, 2010

Also, I’ve been able to get the distributor down to the 5-case discounted price from bottle one, so, even better…

2006 Viña Maquis ‘Lien’
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $13.25 • Premier Cru: $13.86 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $19.99
Buy Now!

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