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Unico Luis Miguel Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
The creation of Único Luis Miguel wine is a passionate departure for the multi Grammy winner, who has more than 35 platinum records and a career total of more than 52 million records sold. A long-time wine collector and connoisseur, Luis Miguel worked side-by-side with Aurelio Montes Del Campo, winemaker for Chile's Viña Ventisquero, to hand select the grapes and craft the complex, seductive, fruit-forward Cabernet Sauvignon blend. Único Luis Miguel is produced from grapes grown in the Maipo Valley, one of Chile's most renowned regions for producing high quality, elegant and complex Cabernet Sauvignons.
"I've always admired and respected the artistry and passion that goes into crafting a great wine," said Luis Miguel. "When I set out to create ÚNICO Luis Miguel, it was important to me to find a partner that shared my vision. Viña Ventisquero is the perfect choice because of its progressive approach to winemaking and extraordinary vineyards. It has been great working alongside such a well respected winemaker as Aurelio and I'm excited about the tremendous wine that we've created."
An intense cherry-red in color with hints of blue; complex aromas of ripe raspberries and black currant are uniquely complimented by black pepper spices, cedar and tobacco notes. Expressive and full on the palate with a balanced body and distinctive, ripe, round tannins that linger on the long, chocolate finish.
The first vintage was released in both Chile and Mexico and sold out almost immediately. The sales reflected the vast appeal of Luis Miguel and reinforced that consumers find Unico to be an outstanding value. "When you taste Unico you'll realize our efforts have paid off immensely," says Luis Miguel. "It is a complex, seductive wine that is truly delicious."
The Gran Reserva Cabernet originates in the coastal zone of the Maipo Valley, a region renowned for producing elegant, high quality wines. The grapes were hand selected to create an inviting, velvety and rich Cabernet Sauvignon.
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.
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.
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.
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.