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Global Masters Wine of the Week: Cono Sur 20 Barrels Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Every week we select a wine that picked up either a Gold or Master from our competition series, and tell you why the judges loved it. Enter the Global Masters and this could be your wine.

With the nights still long, the weather still chilly and our purse strings still tight post-Christmas, our minds are on affordable reds to warm the cockles.

We are nearing the deadline for entires into our Cabernet Sauvignon Masters, and on pouring through the results from last year’s competition, we were struck by this gem that proves just how far Chile’s reputation has come for producing top drawer reds.

This wine, produced by Cono Sur, one of the innovative arms of Chilean wine giant Concha Y Toro, impressed with sound structure and a nose that brought to mind fresh red fruits, cassis, smoke and spice.

First established in 1993, Cono Sur is more commonly associated with Pinot Noir, but Cabernet Sauvignon represents 30% of the grapes cultivated in Chile, and in many ways, it put the country on the winemaking world’s radar. Little wonder, then, that Cono Sur’s gravelly Maipo vineyards continue to produce concentrated fruit and high quality wines.

The grapes themselves, cultivated on four of CyT’s estates in the Maipo Valley, were hand-picked on 14 April 2016 before spending 17 months in oak barrels, and one month in stainless steel. A little time in oak has loosened this wine and resulted in something concentrated, assertive and aromatic, but with rounded tannins and a sound structure that keeps primary and secondary flavours in balance.

If your budget won’t stretch to a cult Napa Cabernet until your bonus comes through, pick this up instead to serve with a hulking piece of barbecued meat, which will chime nicely with the charred wood and ash this wine presents. A rich peppercorn sauce, meanwhile, should complement the spicy notes.


The wine: Cono Sur 20 Barrels Cabernet Sauvignon (2016)

The source: Maipo Valley, Chile

The grape(s): Cabernet Sauvignon (91%), Syrah (7%), Carmenère (2%)

ABV: 14%

The winemaker: Adolfo Hurtado (Hurtado, now ex-chief winemaker and general manager, left in 2018, and since then vinification has been overseen by Matias Rios)

The style: A full-bodied, rounded, aromatic, assertive red packed with cherries, raspberries, and a hint of ash and white pepper

The price: Around £15. Find it here.

The medal: Gold – The Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2019

Click here to find out more about our 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon competition.

With high quality judges and a unique sampling process, the Global Wine Masters provides a chance for your wines to star, whether they hail from the great vineyards of Europe or lesser-known corners of the New World.

Please visit the Global Masters website for more information, or please call +44 (0)20 7803 2420 or email Sophie Raichura at:

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