Decanted... | A Lesson on Legs: Emiliana Natura Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
As we were enjoying dinner, I looked at my glass of wine and said, “great legs." My boyfriend, witty as ever, replied, “Me or the wine?” I realized then that I have yet to write about a Cabernet Sauvignon—a variety that tends to have fantastic legs. But I will get to that later.
Natura Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, which comes from the Emiliana Organic Vineyards in Valle Central of Chile, is a great option for both the seasoned connoisseur as well as new and novice wine aficionados.
Founded by Rafael and Jose Guilisasti in 1986, Emiliana set out on journey to find the best valleys for each varietal. In the late ‘90s, the duo began to see a change in the market as consumers worldwide were becoming more conscience of the health, environmental, and social impacts of the products they purchased. Emiliana responded by converting their conventional winery into one that is 100% organic and biodynamic. More than a decade later, their dream is complete and their efforts have earned several certifications and a whole host of accolades.
Although I’ve discussed organic wines previously, Emiliana uses a newer, increasingly popular, highly sustainable, agricultural technique: They plant cover crops between the rows to prevent erosion and improve soil fertility. The cover crops also attract insects with their pollen, thus keeping them away from the vines! How cool is that?!
Cabernet Sauvignon, sometimes referred to as the “King of Red Wine Grapes,” originally hails from France, but has become one of the world’s most widely recognized. Despite its popularity, this relatively young variety is the product of a coincidental crossing of Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc during the 17th century. Cabernet Sauvignon was later introduced to Chile during the 19th century, and as a result of its ability to flourish in a variety of climates, it quickly thrived.
As an easy-going crop with such flexibility, the wine produced can take on many different personalities. Most commonly, a Cabernet Sauvignon may exhibit strong fruit flavors along with accents of oak, nearly always complimented with a full body and great legs.
Legs, also referred to as “tears of wine” by the French, are the droplets that form and run down the side of the glass after swirling the wine. When a glass of wine is swirled, liquid is left on the side and begins to evaporate. Since alcohol has a higher rate of evaporation than water, the ratio of water to alcohol begins to change thus creating varying surface tension. The result is the formation of droplets that fall back down the glass. Although legs were once considered an indicator of the wine’s quality, it’s now simply thought of as eye-catching.
Natura has a beautiful red hue that reminds me of a deep ruby, or even garnet. After allowing it to breath and open, strong fruit scents—especially currant and berry—were dominant. The initial flavor was more fruit-forward, but I could reference mild oak notes as well. Since only 20% of the wine was aged for six months in French oak barrels, the result is merely a subtle oak flavor.
There is a full body to this wine and I could feel the tannic nature of it gently pulling at my taste buds. Although I prefer stronger tannins in a Cabernet Sauvignon, I felt as though their calm presence was appropriate and complimentary to this wine.
Although I enjoyed it with a light dish of pesto pasta, I would suggest pairing Natura with more robust flavors, like a great steak. The two together would result in a mouth-watering experience.
If you are considering a Cabernet Sauvignon, Natura is good place to start. Because it’s on the lighter end of bigger-bodied reds, it tends to be more approachable for some. Not only that, it’s quite a lovely organic wine that successfully demonstrates the diverse wine industry of Chile.
Vintner: Emiliana Organic Vineyards
Vintage (year): 2010
Location: Valle Central, Chile
Type: Cabernet Sauvignon
Description: Medium Bodied Red
How Much You Will Pay: $12 - $14.99 per bottle
Photos by Tony Frantz