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Los Vascos Le Dix 2003

Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile
  • WE92
0% ABV
  • JS94
  • JS93
  • JS96
  • WS90
  • W&S90
  • JS94
  • RP92
  • WE93
  • JS93
  • WE91
  • W&S91
  • W&S91
  • WS90
  • W&S90
  • WS89
  • RP89
  • WE91
  • RP90
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Le Dix, meaning 10 in French, was introduced in 1996 to celebrate Domaine Barons de Rothschild (Lafite)'s first ten years in Chile. It is only produced in extraordinary vintage years. Le Dix de Los Vascos is grown in the exceptional vineyard, called El Fraile, which means "the monk", the oldest planted vineyard at Los Vascos and the original vineyard on the estate. The vineyard is 100% planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and many parcels of the vineyard have vines reaching 80 years in age.

Le Dix 2003 has a deep intense ruby color. The powerful nose develops aromas of dry fruit and of ripe wild cherry completed with a lot of spicy and terpenic aromas (wax, cedar, laurel, eucalyptus). The oak is elegant and nicely integrated with the fruit. This adds to the wine pleasant aromas of vanilla, tobacco and cinnamon. The concentration is impressive but the wine stays very well balanced and elegant, fresh, juicy, consistent with rich but ripe and soft tannins. It finishes with a strong taste of cherry (kirsch) and a very nice mineral character with a light bitterness of walnut peel.

This outstanding wine is already very expressive but it is so rich and tannic that it needs more time in the bottle to for even more softness and complexity.

"...A very pure and well-made Cabernet Sauvignon that can be drunk now or aged for at least another five years."
-Wine Enthusiast

Critical Acclaim

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WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
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Los Vascos

Los Vascos

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Los Vascos, Chile
2003 Le Dix
Los Vascos traces its roots to approximately 1750 and to the original vineyard of Miguel Echenique. The vineyard passed down through the family throughout the succeeding centuries.

The acquisition of 50% of Los Vascos by Rothschild (Lafite) in 1988 was the result of a careful search among more than one hundred Chilean wines for one that could meet their criteria for excellence. A team of winemakers from Domaine Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) control the viticulture, harvest, maceration, fermentation and aging of the wines at Los Vascos. Strict control of yields from the estate and adherence to the winemaking techniques of Chateau Lafite result in wines of high quality, whose characteristics do not escape connoisseurs. All production is estate bottled.

A source of reliable, budget-friendly wines and, increasingly, more premium bottlings, Chile is one of South America’s most important wine-producing countries. Long and thin, it is largely isolated geographically, bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Andes Mountains to the east, and the Atacama desert to the north. These natural borders gave Chile the very favorable benefit of being the only country to avoid the disastrous phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s. As a result, vines can be planted on their own rootstock rather than grafted. Though viticulture was introduced to the country by conquistadors from Spain, today Chile’s wine production is most influenced by the French, who emigrated here in large numbers to escape the blight of phylloxera. These settlers have invested heavily in local vineyards and wineries.

Chile’s vineyards, planted mainly with international varieties, vary widely in climate and soil type from north to south. The Coquimbo region in the far north contains the Elqui and Limari Valleys, where minimal rainfall and intense sunlight are offset by chilly breezes from the Humboldt current to produce cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Aconcagua region contains the eponymous Aconcagua Valley—hot and dry and home to full-bodied red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot—as well as Casablanca Valley and San Antonio Valley, which focus on light-bodied Pinot Noir and cool-climate whites like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The Central Valley is home to the Maipo, Rapel, Curicó, and Maule Valleys, which produce a wide variety of red and white wines. Maipo in particular is known for Carmenère, Chile’s unofficial signature grape. In the up-and-coming southern regions of Bio Bio and Itata, excellent cool-climate Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir are made.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

CWC946841_2003 Item# 92346