Santa Ema Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Tasting Notes


The Santa Ema Estate dates to 1917, when Don Pedro Pavone Voglino, an athlete and businessman, arrived in Chile from his native Italy. In 1931, he acquired 35 hectares (ha) in Isla de Maipo, founding the estate. He and his entrepreneurial son Félix Pavone Arbea began the Vinos Santa Ema company in 1956, building a state-of-the-art (for that time) winery. Most wine was consumed locally, but they began exporting in 1986, first to Brazil. They bought a 53-ha estate, La Peral, in 2000. In 2011, the operation was certified sustainable by the Wines of Chile organization. This involves practices in three areas: vineyards, winery, and social responsibility. The family acquired the 100-ha Cerro Blanco estate in Pirque shortly after, and in 2017, the fourth generation took over running the enterprise. Today, Santa Ema wines can be found in 30 countries.

Grapes for this wine come from high-altitude estate vineyards in Maipo Alto in the Maipo Valley. The spring of 2018 was cold and rainy, but summer was temperate, with high temps in March and April. Harvest began a little later than usual and ended in May. Yields were higher than expected, but the quality was very high. Grapes were crushed and fermented in stainless steel for seven days at 30° C (somewhat high), followed by six days of post-fermentation maceration. After malolactic fermentation was completed, the wine was racked to French and American oak barrels, where it aged for 8-10 months.


This is a somewhat muscular wine, complex and fragrant, with dried cranberry and cherry aromas as well as a touch of mint. The aromas continue on the palate, along with notes of dried herb and a certain crunch mid-palate. Tannins are ripe and functional, providing just-right support for the fruit. It is medium-plus in body with a long, slightly bitter-chocolate-inflected finish.


Try this with aged Cheddar or Gorgonzola as a starter. Pair with grilled lamb and rosemary or beef with fresh black pepper. Venison and game birds, if you can find either, are good partners. Cabernet goes well with bitter foods--mustard greens, radicchio, braised escarole, endive, or roasted eggplant. Add Greek spices or olives to your dish to bring out the herbal character of the wine.

Chile , Maipo Valley
Grape Varietal:
Cabernet Sauvignon
$19.00 each