2018 Los Vascos Cromas Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon $22

Here's a very user friendly read, with cabernet at its core, but complemented by syrah and carmenere, which help to soften and plump up what otherwise might be austere fruit. The end result is certainly recognizable as cabernet, with a good solid backbone, but round edges, a soft chocolate finish, firm acidity laced with a touch of licorice, and a clean, red fruit, lip-smacking finish. Very complete and priced right. Also, impressively, this wine shares a common thumbprint with the producer's other bottlings (i.e. Amancaya,) which is definitely a good thing. 91 points

Technical stuff: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah and 5% Carménère, this wine hails from the far west of the Colchagua Valley in the Peralillo DO. At a height of 140 m/460 feet and 40 km/25 miles from the sea, the Los Vascos vineyard sits on the gentle slopes of Coastal Range where soils are dominated by restrictive maicillo gravel – the meteorized granite prevalent in the Coastal Range. Sea breezes are mild and daytime temperatures high – the thermal range gets well into two-figures – resulting in a unique terroir: Cabernets here deliver red fruit with hints of balsamic, camphor and bay leaf notes, while the muscular, broad tannins sculpt a characterful palate.