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2009 Domus Aurea Cabernet Sauvignon Alto Del Maipo ValleyBlend from Chile


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"Domus Aurea is a single-vineyard wine made from old vines in the renowned Clos Quebrada de Macul Vineyard. Situated on the higher slopes of the Maipo valley, the vineyard over...

  • 93 Luis Gutierrez - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
  • 92 Josh Raynolds - Vinous Media
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I tasted three vintages of Domus Aurea, one of the iconic wines from Maipo, starting with the 2009 Domus Aurea. 2009 is a vintage that is very Maipo and very Domus -- with the telltale menthol aromas, plenty of balsamic herbs, a little earthy over a core of lush, ripe black fruit without excess. The palate is polished and very nicely integrated, perfect for current drinking, combining power, elegance and the very fine, polished tannins. Within the ripe vintage, this is still very precise and focused. If you want to understand the potential of Maipo, this is a great example. As a reference, I also tasted the 2002, which was a powerful vintage and it still feels quite young with the minty character quite amplified by the time in bottle. The 2009, which might have some similarities, will surely age nicely. 29,646 bottles were filled in January 2011.

Domus Aurea is possibly the archetype of Cabernet-based wine from Maipo. It's sourced from two vineyards, one planted ungrafted in 1970 with Cabernet Sauvignon (16 hectares), and a second one (12 hectares) where the varietal mix is approximately 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. Vinification is traditional, with minimal intervention: hand-harvesting, cold soak of the grapes for some ten to 15 days, and then the temperature is let to raise so the indigenous yeasts start fermenting the must at temperatures never surpassing 26 degrees Celsius. Fermentation usually lasts around eight days, after which there is post fermentative maceration of some ten days. Part of the wine is put through malolactic in barrique, and part in tank. Élevage is in French oak barrels with around 60% of them new and typically lasts something between 16 and 18 months depending on the character of the vintage. They produce between 25,000 and 30,000 bottles of Domus Aurea. This is among the top Cabernets from Chile, really superb in 2010 and 2011 -- two vintages that will be fascinating to follow and see which one is the winner in the long run.

Drink 2015-2025. Reviewed December 2015.

92 Josh Raynolds - Vinous Media

"(includes 10% merlot and 4% cabernet franc, merlot and petit verdot): Vivid ruby. A heady, seductively perfumed bouquet evokes dark berry preserves, apricot, orange zest and violet, plus vanilla and mocha overtones. Pliant, appealingly sweet blackberry and cherry compote flavors show very good depth and vivacity, with a bitter chocolate nuance appearing on the back half. Closes sweet and very long, with resonating spiciness and a touch of anise."

Product Description:

"Domus Aurea is a single-vineyard wine made from old vines in the renowned Clos Quebrada de Macul Vineyard. Situated on the higher slopes of the Maipo valley, the vineyard overlooks Macul, Chile’s oldest wine producing appellation." - Distributor

"Quebrada de Macul's vineyard was planted in 1995 and is by far one of Chile's top five site's for Cabernet Sauvignon. A 35-hectare parcel located in the far eastern foothills of the Upper Alto del Maipo, Quebrada de Macul sits at 900 meters above sea level, an elevation that brings a 40 degree swing between night and day temps.

Magnificently situated, these old hillside vines that were planted in 1965, produce low yields. Their non-interventionist winemaking techniques means that all emphasis is placed on terroir.

Owner, Ricardo Pena employs Jean-Pascal Lacaze to manage the vineyards and make the wines. Because Lacaze believes that "imperfection is perfection", he makes use of all plots and sub-plots, because this is the absolute expression of the vineyard's terroir.

Jean Pascal Lacaze developed an early taste for wine when his grandfather served the family's Bordeaux wine in his feeding bottle. During his formative years, Jean Pascal was influenced by his grandfather's vision for viticulture and vinification, and Jean Pascal eventually tried his hand at winemaking with a number of properties in Saint Emilion.While working, Jean Pascal received his masters in Economics in Montepelier, which led to an opportunity in Uruguay to train in business administration. But Jean Pascal listened to his wine instincts and decided to become a wine maker, consulting for Casa Filgueira, where he developed the estate's first premium wine. After spending two years in South America, Jean Pascal returned to Saint Emilion for the 2002 harvest at Chateau Plaisance, then headed to Chile to work at famed vineyard Clos Quebrada de Macul, best known for the award winning Cabernet Sauvignon Domus Aurea." - Distributor.

Product Detail

Item # 93449
Country Chile
Region Central Valley
Sub-Region Maipo

93 - Luis Gutierrez - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

92 - Josh Raynolds - Vinous Media

Vintage 2009
Color Red
ABV 13.9%
Varietal(s) Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
Size 750 mL
Closure Cork
Taste currant, blackberry, cherry, bell pepper, olive, asparagus, spice, ginger, oak, vanilla, black cherry, plum, smoke, toast, tar, tobacco, raspberry, cassis, violet, pepper and green bean
Nose currant, blackberry, cherry, cedar, cigar box, violet, rose, truffle, earth, coffee, leather, tobacco, broccoli, berry and flower