The fact that Casillero del Diablo’s Cabernet Sauvignon is the winery’s best-selling wine should come as no surprise. Every wine drinker knows Cabernet Sauvignon. By most accounts, it is the world’s most popular red wine - the most famous grape variety in the world. The complete story of how and why this one variety has captured the hearts and palates of so many winemakers across the planet could fill a book. The most important element of the story for the purposes of Casillero del Diablo is how the grape made its way to Chile.
The first grapevines were planted in the country by Spanish missionaries over 500 years ago, but they were varieties we seldom hear about these days, with names like Pais and Mission. It was in the 19th century that a number of Chileans decided to plant Bordeaux varietals in the Valle Central of Chile. So began the transformation of this region of Chile to what it is today: one of the world’s leading wine-growing regions, referred to by many as the Bordeaux of South America.
The Valle Central - Chile's most important region for grape cultivation
The Valle Central (or Central Valley) of Chile runs from the capital city of Santiago in the north to the Bio Bio River in the south and is given its climatic advantages by the coastal mountain range on the west and the Andes Mountains on the east. As a result, this protected area has become Chile’s most important region for grape cultivation. It is here that winemaker Sebastian Rodriguez crafts Casillero del Diablo’s signature Cabernet Sauvignon. He likes to say, “For me, the vineyards are the most important part in the crafting of premium wine.” The sites chosen for vineyard locations have been carefully selected for their ideal exposition and excellent drainage, with rocky areas of alluvial soil.
Casillero's commitment to sustainable agriculture
Considering the unique nature of these vineyards and soils, Rodriguez, along with the rest of Casillero del Diablo, has been dedicated to furthering the winery’s commitment to sustainable agriculture. The winery has become certified sustainable and has taken many concrete steps towards being more ecologically-friendly. This includes reducing the weight of the glass for bottles, lowering their overall carbon footprint, and reducing the use of water to a minimum. Since taking over as head winemaker in 2007, Rodriguez has dedicated substantial resources to protecting and stewarding the land into the future, ensuring the vineyard soils are healthy for generations to come.
The ideal red wine
All these robust terroirs contribute to the unique flavor profile of the Cabernet Sauvignon from Casillero del Diablo. The ideal Cabernet Sauvignon is a balanced combination of dark fruit, earthy body, and tannic structure. When these components are in harmony, they create what is for many wine drinkers the ideal red wine. The Valle Central of Chile offers some of the best terroir and most advantageous growing conditions producing wines with a combination of ripe fruit and earthy structure. With the cooling effects of the Pacific and the steady snowmelt irrigation of the Andes, the region has all the good elements of Bordeaux without the disadvantages. The steady, temperate climate means that the tannic structure remains intact while still achieving those signature ripe fruit components that Cabernet Sauvignon is famous for. For Casillero del Diablo, the resulting wine is the perfect balance of Cabernet components: medium to full-bodied with notes of black currant, cherry, and violets.
Perfect for any occasion
Without being overripe and too alcoholic, the wines are the perfect complement for many different cuisines. Obviously, Cabernet Sauvignon and red meat are an ideal pairing, but Casillero del Diablo is much more versatile than just a steak wine. Blistered shishito peppers with salt and lime are a terrific appetizer and a wonderful complement to the slight green-tinged elements of the wine. With its array of fruit and savory elements, it can stand up to spicy elements, too - everything from hot chicken wings to chili to Indian curries. The possibilities are only limited to each wine drinker’s imagination.