Stefano Gandolini’s winery focuses solely on Cabernet Sauvignon from the Maipo Valley. This wine was new to me: nicely packaged, in a big heavy bottle, it made me a little wary. I was worried it was going to be very sweet, rich and quite alcoholic. What a nice surprise to pour it and find freshness, precision, structure and balance. For me, this has to be one of Chile’s top Cabernet Sauvignons. It’s world class, and I reckon it will age really well.
Gandolini is chief (consultant) winemaker at Von Siebenthal, among others. He also makes the wines and is a partner in Ventolero, whose founder, Vicente Izquierdo Menendez, is a backer for Gandolini’s own project.
Gandolini Las 3 Marias Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Maipo, Chile
This reminds me of a really good Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon. There’s just a hint of mint and cedar spice on the nose, as well as restrained, savoury-edged blackcurrant fruit. The palate is focused and fresh with great balance and concentration, lovely restrained blackcurrant fruit and a minerally, savoury core. The oak (21 months in French oak barrels) is well integrated and the hallmark of this wine is exceptional balance. 93/100 (£25 The Wine Society, although it won’t be available until June alas)
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