I Was A Somollier Once, And Young…

When I was a wee little lad, of thirteen young years, I was called upon to choose my first wine. I was on vacation in Ecuador, and the restaurant that we went to had a wonderful wine list. They had inexpensive wines, and they had very, very nice wines. They had Chilean wines, Argintinian wines, Brazilian wines, Peruvian wines, even Ecuadorian wines. What about European wines? Vinos Norteamericanos? Ahm…No such luck, and my luck was that my aunt and uncle had no idea about South American wines. So, after deciding a grape, as the only Spanish speaker, it fell to me to choose the wine. Then something caught my eye: diablo. The Devil. How could I resist?

“Castillero del Diablo,” I said, in my best Sevillian accent. “El cab-ar-net so-vig-nan.”

Wow, what an order. Anyway, I decided to revisit the choice. I have had this wine in the interim, so when I went to the package store to pick up a bottle, I got some pretty major sticker shock. I remember the wine being about $6 per bottle. I found it to be double. Now liquor tax is much higher in Boston than Chicago, and I’m sure we always got it on sale, but anyway, I tasted this again with dinner tonight, and, again, I was quite pleased. My first choice was a good one. Hopefully the first of many.

A glass of good wine.

A glass of good wine.

Concha y Toro Winery: Castillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (Chile)

Tasting Conditions: I drank this vintage after a lazy day watching the games of the 29th Olympiad just before dinner. I used a six ounce red wine glass for the tasting. After opening the bottle, I allowed the wine ten minutes in the glass to breath.

Eye: This wine is almost black in the glass with just a hint of dark ruby. It truly gives additional meaning to the term “wine dark sea.” A swirl revealed the wine’s very stubby legs. The bottle is quite elegant as befits the reserve du chateau with the “Castillero del Diablo” logo of a stylized devil quite prominent, being on the seal, the label, and even embossed on the bottle.

Nose: While grape was dominant in the aroma, oak was also quite prominent. Behind that, there was a hint of orange zest and just a touch of must which promises a wine on the sweeter side.

Mouth: This was a wonderful tasting wine. The taste started out with just a hint of lemon juice, though not quite so sour. The flavour blossomed into a medium bodied grape with a fairly medium body. The finish revealed the somewhat clichéd bell pepper notes. It was much less astringent than I expected, or perhaps feared. Continued sipping suggested some notes of spice, specifically clove and cinnamon.

Conclusion: I am not sure I would buy this bottle again, but only because I tend to stick under the $10 mark, admittedly a tough challenge in Boston. However, with that said, were I spending what they ask, I might well take in a bottle of the Diablo. If this wine was half as good when I first chose it in Ecuador almost a decade ago, I made a good choice.

This is the last of four posts I am presenting for the fourth anniversary of Wine Blogging Wednesday. You can read the others from the original post, which you can find here.

I hope you have enjoyed this little spectacular,

The Scribe


3 Responses

  1. […] I Was A Somollier Once, And Young… […]

  2. Um, sorry to be picking nits, but it’s CaSillero: the Devil’s Locker, as it were…altho, I’d have to figure if there’s a colloquial meaning particular to Chilean Spanish.
    Maybe I should get a bottle & drink it in honor of my uncle & Padrino Eduardo, who’s still around & turns 95 next October 13, but is not all there anymore, if you take my meaning.

  3. Casillero (right name) means cellar, castillero (wrong) means castle builder.
    Viña Concha y Toro wines are a pretty safe choice.

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