The Cucao wines are based on purchased grapes from a number of different estates, some run organically, some on conventional agriculture, but all overseen by Alvaro Espinoza's team and controlled by their high standards. Taking into account Chile's outstanding microclimates, it almost appears that for every variety there might be a right spot. All that is needed is the expert leading the way in the multifaceted vineyard reality of Chile: this man is Alvaro Espinoza. Alvaro Espinoza is heralded today as Chile’s most talented winemaker and great promoter of bio-dynamics. After a personal eureka at the University of Bordeaux and a sabbatical in California with Jim Fetzer and Alan York, both America’s great gurus for a different viticulture, Alvaro returned home to single-handedly convert Chile’s viticulture from industrial to agricultural. He also was the young kid who spoke up about Carmenère, when nobody wanted to recognize this varietal wine in Chile. He was the one to put Carmenère on the map as Chile’s favorite grape, with the very first bottling of Chilean Carmenère being his!
The Cucao Reserve Cabernet first hit our radar several years ago when we learned the project was part of the Geo Wine group, led by Alvaro Espinoza from Antiyal who also oversees Concha y Toro's organic operation at Vinedos Emiliana. Alvaro is an extremely talented winemaker and Editor James Molesworth from the Wine Spectator called him "arguably one of the country's best winemakers."
The Cucao wines are specially blended from grapes sourced from a number of top Chilean estates, and the Cabernet specifically comes from organic vineyards in the famed Colchagua Valley. An outstanding value, this Cabernet is very fruit forward yet maintains its elegance with six months of french oak aging and structured tannins.