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The 2000 vintage has turned out to be an especially fine one for Santa Monica. The 2000 Santa Monica Private Reserve Tierra de Sol Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits plenty of round fruit and a more polished, Bordeaux demeanor than most Chilean Cabernets can muster. In appearance, the 2000 Tierra de Sol Cabernet displays a deep, dark, youthful robe, which it backs up with an amplifying aroma of blackberry, cassis, dark chocolate, and the classic cigar box scent of cedar. The 2000 Tierra de Sol Cabernet Sauvignon recalls all that is beguiling and hauntingly beautiful about the finest Chilean Cabernets. In addition, it offers a combination of Bordeaux complexity and New World flavor. Moreover, this most recent release from Santa Monica of Tierra de Sol Cabernet Sauvignon provides plenty of ripe tannins to complement the blackberry fruit, cassis, plum, chocolate and roasted coffer flavors that continually unfold for hours after opening. For optimum enjoyment, we suggest you allow this medium-bodied beauty to breathe for at least thirty minutes or more before consuming, so that it can gather its charm and beguile the senses. And like all fine Cabernet Sauvignon, we strongly suggest that the 2000 Santa Monica Private Reserve Tierra de Sol Cabernet Sauvignon be drunk at no more than 66° F. Enjoy!
Although quite easy and enjoyable to drink on its own, the 2000 Santa Monica Private Reserve Tierra de Sol Cabernet Sauvignon is even better with food. Like fine, aged Bordeaux, the 2000 Tierra de Sol Cabernet Sauvignon constitutes the quintessential dinner party wine. And best of all, one need not have a flair for haute cuisine to see this wine shine. A simple butter and herb roasted chicken, a tender veal chop, or a grilled thinly sliced beef tenderloin is all this beautifully aged wine needs to elevate a meal to a feast. For the gourmet or more adventuresome eater, we suggest a grilled loin of lamb with herbed and chèvre stuffed peaches and either creamy rich risotto or mashed garlic and rosemary infused potatoes. A savory Lamb Ragout with mushrooms, red peppers and onions, oven-roasted potatoes, and braised greens provides another excellent pairing. Actually, most meat dishes and well prepared stews will complement the 2000 Santa Monica Tierra de Sol Cabernet Sauvignon as well.
Founded in 1976 by Emilio de Solminihac, Santa Monica is one of the more contemporary wineries in Chile. Yet, this superb property is truly an amalgam of Old World charm and modern technology Located in the beautiful Rapel Valley, this historical 19th century property includes a beautiful old hacienda that dates from Chile's colonial past as well as one the tidiest and most up to date wineries in all Chile.
Emilio de Solminihac, more affectionately known as Don Emilio to a burgeoning legion of young Chilean winemakers, is the guardian of traditional winemaking in Chile and one of South America's finest winemakers. He is also an affable gentleman who seems cut from a bygone age. Hailing from a wine making family, Don Emilio received his first training in wine as a young man while working in his grandfather's vineyard and winery. Later he would graduate from the Universidad de Chile with a degree in agricultural engineering, and subsequently depart for France, where he would study at the Université de Bordeaux under the legendary Emile Peynaud – then France's most renowned oenologist. While attending the Université de Bordeaux, Emilio earned that venerable institution's esteemed degree in oenology, the first Chilean to do so. Today, Emilio de Solminihac is revered as much for his legacy of fine, age worthy wines as he is for his numerous oenological innovations – many of which have helped to transform the Rapel Valley into the Napa Valley of Chile.
In the 1970's Don Emilio returned to Chile. He established an oenological laboratory in Rancagua and began consulting for many local Rapel Valley vineyards and wineries, an experience that brought him an intimate knowledge of the region's terroir. In the meantime, the young Emilio also began teaching oenology and vinification at the Universidad de Chile and the Universidad Catolica de Chile, where he earned a reputation for his unabashed dedication to the production of clean, complex, age worthy wines in the Bordeaux tradition – a devotion he still pursues.
Chile in the 1970's was a time of great economic uncertainty. Nevertheless, in 1976, when other growers were continuing to pull up vines because they were barely able to give away their wares, let alone make a living by producing wine, Don Emilio made a fateful decision: he purchased the old Vina Purisma estate outside of Rancagua. Originally planted in 1930, this established 230- acre Rapel property contained many splendid old vines whose yields were meager but whose quality was high. Don Emilio re-named the estate Santa Monica in honor of his wife Monica Fonseca and began with her their family winery. What many considered madness three decades ago has now become a dream come true.
Today, Santa Monica reigns as an oasis of calm and simple elegance. Beyond its gates lay long rows of well-tended vines that doze between the towering Andes and the coastal mountain ranges. From these neat rows of vines that hold just about every grape imaginable, Don Emilio fashions a bevy of delicious wines. However, the highly acclaimed Private Reserve Tierra de Sol and Gran Reserva offerings of Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay constitute the signature series at Santa Monica. In them, one can taste and see Don Emilio's passion for making traditional Bordeaux and Burgundy style offerings, with a personal touch. These are complex, age worthy wines that are as endearing as they are enduring.
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