Exciting Chilean red wine: Garage Wine Co. Las Higueras Cabernet Franc Lot #82 2016

The winner of a recent Cabernet Franc blind tasting, on which event I presented mostly Loire wines to my friends. The French performance was a disaster, featuring mostly poorly made wines (Brett, Brett, Brett). The Garage Wine Co. Las Higueras Lot #82 2016 not only won the show, but it’s easily the best and most exciting Chilean red wine I tasted in recent years.

New wave style done in the right way. No funk, no faults, just the lack of the usual sweet and smooth New World taste. A vinous character I often miss in it’s peers. The nose is classic Chile, though: powerful, ripe and fruit forward, with peach, mango (uncommon notes to red wines, but I always find them in Chilean ones) and dark berries. A full yet unforced palate – it’s juicy, fills every corner of the mouth. And it’s dry, I love that. And what an amazing, serious tannin structure builds towards the finish! This is built like a top Madiran or Brunello rather than Chilean reds – that’s where it wins me over. A firm, serious wine, with immense depth and concentration. It’s so nice that I even forgive it the lack of varietal character.

Rating: outstanding, 92+ points.
Price: £21.90, VINVM UK.
Value: great. Highly recommended!
Tasted: November, 2019.
Source: I bought the bottle.
Drinking window: now-2025.