Maker: Solterra Winery, Chile
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, natural cork
Our Rating: 8 out of 10
Solterra Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 starts with aromas of juicy berries, vanilla, and oak. Its flavors match the nose,with blackberry and cherry notes, a hint of cloves, and a slightly earthy, mineral character. This isn’t a wimpy Cab, and weighs in at the high end of the typical Cab alcohol range. It had some nice aspects, but somehow didn’t come together in the end. It’s not a bad wine, though.
This is definitely a stealth product. We couldn’t locate website for Solterra Winery, and the importer, Arbor Beverage Co. of Ann Arbor, Michigan, has a one-page website devoid of product information. Some serious sleuthing tracked down this bit of history: “Professor and Jazz singer Marlena Studer visited Chile in 2002 and found a paradise and all the ingredients needed to produce a fine wine. Thus inspired, she partnered with a Chilean winemaker and they hand-select wines, which are bottled under the Solterra label and sent to Ann Arbor. The wines have been well received and are selling well.” They appear to have a range of varietals, including Carmenere, Chardonnay, and Merlot in addition to a number of Cabernet Sauvignons.
Solterra Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 may not have been our favorite Cab, but it was promising enough that we’d try another Solterra wine if we found it.