There was a time, perhaps 20 years ago, when a Chilean cabernet sauvignon was one of my ?house wines.? It was inexpensive enough for everyday drinking, and the quality was better than average. But in subsequent years, I found myself less and less impressed by cabernet from Chile.Then along came some high-end cabs and cab blends from wineries like Montes and Concha y Toro, as well as wines created by joint ventures between Chilean producers and foreign wineries like Mondavi. The wines were good, but they were also pricey. Consumers expect a lot from a bottle of wine that costs $50 or more, and these wines didn?t always deliver. I?ve tasted a lot of Chilean cabernets and cab blends over the past few months, and I think that quality is improving at all price levels. Sure, I?ve sampled some clunkers, but many of the inexpensive wines are great values, and some of the top-end bottles offer world-class quality.
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