Veramonte Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2019
What: At this time of year when the weather turns cooler I like to drink rich, full-bodied wines. They can be powerful white wines, or intense reds such as the Veramonte Cabernet Sauvignon.
There’s nothing better on a cool evening than a powerhouse red wine paired with a hearty meal. (Unless it’s a glass or port after dinner, but that story is for another day.)
It’s even better when you get a great wine at a bargain price, such as this outstanding $12 Cab. For many years we have been enjoying great prices on South American wines, especially those from Chile. So if you are just getting started on your wine journey, Chilean wines are a great place to start.
This is a typical Chilean cab, full of lush, ripe fruit, a deep, dark ruby red in the glass. It sends out powerful aromas of blackberry and cherry with some oak notes. On the palate I loved the powerful cassis flavors mixed with some vanilla and spices. The fruit and tannins are balanced by smooth acidity to produce an elegant Cab with a long, lush finish.
The 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are grown organically on the gently rolling hills of the remote Colchagua Valley. After destemming, the grapes are cold macerated for five days in open top stainless steel tanks and fermented with native yeasts.
After primary fermentation, the wine is macerated with its skin for another 10 days to bring out greater intensity of the flavors and give it smoothness. Then the wine is racked to neutral oak barrels and aged for eight months.
This is a great food wine, and is great for a weeknight dinner when you are not fixing a complicated meal. And it’s great for sipping after dinner.
I like to serve most red wines slightly chilled, or at cellar temperature, around 60 degrees.
Winery: In the late 1980s Chilean wine pioneer Agustin Huneeus found a large tract of land in Chile’s remote Casablanca Valley that he thought would be perfect for a winery, so he bought it. The first Veramonte wine was sold in 1996.
A state-of-the-art winery was built in 1998 and offers popular tours. The wines have won many awards for Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah Rosé, Pinot Noir and Primus, a rich, spicy blend of Carmenere, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wines have a well-deserved reputation for outstanding wines at good prices.
Veramonte is one of the largest contiguous vineyards in Chile with more than 1,100 acres of grapevines. All the estates are farmed organically. The vineyard is surrounded by 10,000 acres of natural, unplanted greenbelt that is habitat to native plants and animals, and a natural lagoon that is home to more than two dozen species of migrating birds.
The winery includes the latest technology in bottling lines, gravity-fed fermentors and ultra-modern stainless steel tanks. It is also designed for small-lot winemaking, allowing separate fermentation and aging of individual vineyard blocks and experimental vineyard plots.
Viñedos Veramonte produces wine under labels of Veramonte, Primus, Ritual and Neyen. The wines are imported by González Byass USA, the American branch of the Spanish company founded in 1835 that owns wineries in Spain’s most important wine-producing regions. The US subsidiary imports wine and spirits from around the world, including Spain, Chile, Italy and Austria.
Goes with: This intense wine paired perfectly with pepper stew, a dish I have been eating since childhood. It’s one of my mother’s recipes that I have enjoyed every time I make it. It’s like stuffed bell peppers with a tomato sauce.
The stew is full of rich flavors with plenty of meat, so it needs a powerful wine to accompany it. The Veramonte fits the bill perfectly.
It’s deep fruit flavors with spicy notes and long finish really work well with the stew. The wine also would pair well with red meat on the grill, lamb chops, lamb shanks or beef empanadas. If you will be having ham or roast beef for Thanksgiving dinner, this would be a great wine to have on the table.
Here’s the stew recipe:
- 4-5 bell peppers
- 1-2 pounds ground beef
- 1 large sweet onion
- 1 egg
- 3 14 oz cans tomatoes, crushed or diced
- 2 boxes beef broth
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1-2 cans water
- salt & pepper to taste
- Slice tops off the peppers, seed and wash. Remove stems from tops and discard stems. Combine beef, onion, egg and rice. Stuff peppers with mixture and replace tops, securing with toothpicks. (Any leftover beef mixture can be made into meatballs.)Place peppers in a large Dutch oven. Add tomatoes, broth, water, salt and pepper. Simmer for about an hour. Discard any grease that rises to the top. Cut peppers into portions and serve with stew poured over them.