The Best of the Worst: Part 2 (Xplorador)

by Victoria D'Olier on December 15, 2010 | Comments Off on The Best of the Worst: Part 2 (Xplorador) |

Ugh.  Things have gone downhill.  For those of you who following my bargain bin wine experiment, this was the bottom of the barrel. For those of you who are just checking out this mini-series, here’s the scoop: I’ve got great taste but a non-existent income therefore I strive to find great bargains and delicious buys by weeding through the swill and sorting out the palatable… I do the work so you don’t have to.  In this vain I purchased three 1.5 liter bottles of budget wine from Costco to see just how bad (or good) it was.

My conclusion of the night: Xplorador is for the brave (and maybe the already drunk).

Concha Y Toros Xplorador

Hey, maybe you like your wines taut, green, under-ripe, and barnyard-y

Brought to us by the phenomenal winemakers behind the lauded Don Melchor and the economical but respected Casillero del Diablo, I was keeping my fingers crossed for something traditionally Chilean without, perhaps, the complex layers of Don Melchor or the subtle fruit and structured earth of Casillero.  What I found upon opening the bottle was a beverage so taut, green, under-ripe, and barnyard-y it was all but undrinkable.  As I took my first bold swig the flavors proved to be less off-puting than than the nose showing a strong herbaceous quality with an olive-y finish.  This wine needed some air and it needed it right away.  I poured a small glass and allowed it a few hours to breathe.   When I returned to it the strong and indelicate nose had blown off, replaced by a grassy, herbal quality filled with rosemary and oregano.  On the palate was a mouthful of green peppercorns and spice.  The finish was short and unimpressive but inoffensive.

Much like the Cawarra, this wine really needed to breathe.  Apparently these large bottles are both unkind and abusive to their contents as both wines have seemed virtually undrinkable upon opening them.  The Xplorador was truly a food wine, it was all but begging for a lean, flavorful flank steak smothered with tangy, fresh chimichurri sauce.  Paired as such I think this wine could almost be passable but this is truly a last ditch attempt at salvaging something deeply questionable. Do not take this to a friend’s house, do not take this to an enemy’s house, let this wine end its days in the Costco warehouse and drink a Hendrick’s and Tonic instead.

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