For some reason Halloween in Southwest Florida is lacking the outside displays and decorations of past years, though the festive spirit is still evident in conversations around town and the media. No matter if you are in or out of the seasonal mood you may be looking for a wine that fits the spirit of the holiday and if that is you look no further than the 2014 vintages of the Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. Several years back I reviewed the history of this consistently reputable Chilean wine house so this time around I will dive right into the glass so to speak.
The 2014 Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon pours out a purplish color with a quickly rising fruity aroma of berries backed by a light touch of pepper spice. A somewhat typically weak Cabernet opening moves into a solid mid palate flavor of currant berries that while somewhat single noted exhibits surprising level of interest on the palate. A woodiness that initially tastes like wet cardboard betrays some oak aging and also serves as a foundation for the black currant flavor. That combination successfully works to provide depth and earthiness to a wine which otherwise would have been just a bottle of fruit juice. Slight easy to enjoy tannin and clean acidity make this a fine choice to pair with snack foods or a meal and while the flavor tails off fairly quickly a lingering essence of black cherry leaves a very satisfying taste in the mouth. All in all this is a great sipping wine, great burger wine and a quality “Cab Sauv” experience that is sure to appeal to a wide spectrum of wine palates.
If the Cabernet Sauvignon is a dark and earthy experience the 2014 Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc is the feisty and bright companion tagging along to the party. Gooseberries are a real treat when eaten straight off the vine on a warm summer day, a treat that way too many people have not experienced in their lifetime. Fortunately you can emulate that experience with this wine. Not grassy or herbaceous like many bottles of Sauvignon Blanc this white gold colored liquid will overload the nose with a dominant bouquet of gooseberry tinged with red grapefruit. Despite the bracing flavor of gooseberry, finishing edge of citrus fruit and acidity this wine has an odd almost soft feel in the mouth. A persistent after taste makes this a pleasurable sipping wine that keeps the saliva flowing for snacking and the combination of softness in the mouth with edgy gooseberry leaves you feeling refreshed like remember a July dip in northern Lake Michigan with a love long gone.
Both of these wines are easy to find around town from grocery aisle to dedicated wine store so you can quickly pick up a bottle on your way to the party or on your way home to await your guests. The price is relatively consistent around the $9 point, sometimes a little higher and sometimes a little lower and for those who enjoy economic principles after several years of observation I have concluded the price of Casillero del Diablo Reserva label wine represents the classic “Cobweb” model. Bottom line, these are value priced wines that are a pleasure to drink anytime of the year, as well as a good choice for your Halloween event or just at home hiding out from the roaming neighborhood goblins.