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The Gold Set: Ron Zacapa Centenario Gran Reserva Sistema Solera 23 Rum & Marques de Casa Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Gold for a reason. Winemaker Marcelo Papa joined Marques de Casa Concha in 1999, and since has developed an international reputation for delivering wines that always exceed the 90-point barrier. Ron Zacapa Rum has won five consecutive Gold Medals at the International Rum Festival.

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Ron Zacapa Centenario Gran Reserva Sistema Solera 23 Rum

Situated over 1,000 feet above sea level in southwestern Guatemala, the Ron Zacapa Plantation enjoys generous amount of sunlight and mineral-rich, volcanic soils, making it ideal for the cultivation of fresh, raw sugar cane. There, expert farmers — many of whom have been tending to the land for decades — carefully analyze the sugar cane as it matures on the estate, harvesting only the canes that are rich in sucrose and fiber and lacking in impurities.

While most rums are made using molasses, which is a byproduct of refining sugar cane, Ron Zacapa Rum is made using virgin sugar cane honey. The virgin sugar cane honey is extracted from the first pressing of raw sugar cane harvested on the Zacapa Plantation, and lends a luxurious, smooth texture to the rum. Once the honey has been extracted, it is fermented with a unique strain of pineapple yeast before being distilled through a single column still lined with copper.

Following distillation, Ron Zacapa Gran Reserva Sistema Solera 23 Rum is solera-aged through a series of casks that were previously used to mature bourbon, sherry and Pedro Ximénez wine. Solera aging is a process that has generally been reserved for aging cognacs, ports and sherries. It involves filling a series of casks at different intervals over a long period of time. As rum from the oldest cask is emptied and bottled, the cask is re-filled with an equivalent amount of rum from the second-oldest cask in the solera. This cascading effect continues until the youngest cask in the solera is filled with new rum. As a result, no cask in the solera is ever fully emptied. In addition, as the younger rum cascades through the solera, its average age and complexity gradually increases over time.

As a result of this solera-aging process, Ron Zacapa Gran Reserva Rum has notes of dark figs, raisins, candied nuts and dried fruits. In addition, the solera used to age the rum is situated in the highlands of Quetzaltenango, 7500 feet above sea level. The thinner air and lower atmospheric pressure at "the solera above the clouds" intensifies the maturation process, and creates a more complex, layered rum.

Once the rum has cascaded through the solera, Lorena Vazquez — Ron Zacapa's master blender — blends together rum that has matured for up to 23 years. "I like things to have a structure, to be complex," says Vazquez, "so when you sip a rum, you're going to discover it, and it should surprise you."

Ron Zacapa Gran Reserva Sistema Solera 23 Rum has a light mahogany color, along with an aroma of sweet caramel, vanilla, cacao beans and butterscotch. The aroma opens up to notes of sweet honey, raisined fruit and apricots on the palate, which are well-complemented by notes of oak, coffee, leather and tobacco. The finish, which lingers just enough, ends with a touch caramel.

The rum earned a score 97 points from the Beverage Testing Institute, and won five consecutive Gold Medals at the International Rum Festival, where it was ultimately inducted into the Hall of Fame.



Marques de Casa Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

In June of 1718, King Philip V of Spain bestowed the noble title “Marques de Casa Concha” upon Chilean Governor José de Santiago Concha y Salvatierra for his exemplary leadership and service to the king. Generations later, Don Melchor de Santiago Concha y Toro, the seventh Marques de Casa Concha, founded a winery under the same name, thus giving birth to a renowned breed of Chilean wine that has become known for its noble origins as well as its consistently superior quality.

Winemaker Marcelo Papa joined Marques de Casa Concha in 1999, and since that date he has developed an international reputation for delivering wines that always exceed the 90-point barrier. “The classical style of Marques de Casa Concha seeks to best concentration and character of grapes from our longstanding vineyards through better agri-enological management,” says Papa.

Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 originates in the Puente Alto Vineyard, situated in the Maipo Valley near the Andes. There, massive temperature swings from day to night prolong grape ripening, and alluvial soil further contributes to small, concentrated grape clusters. After they are harvested, the grapes are fermented and aged in French oak casks for 18 months.

Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 has an intense, fruity aroma with notes of cherry, cassis and cedar. The palate is silky, conjuring further notes of blackberry, tar and smoke, and leads to a long, complex finish.

Pick up this set of award winners today!

Ron Zacapa Centenario Gran Reserva Sistema Solera 23 Rum has a mahogany color, along with an aroma of sweet caramel, vanilla, cacao beans and butterscotch. Notes of sweet honey, raisined fruit and apricots on the palate, which are well-complemented by notes of oak, coffee, leather and tobacco. Finish, which lingers just enough, ends with a touch caramel. Marques de Casa Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 has an intense, fruity aroma with notes of cherry, cassis and cedar. The palate is silky, conjuring further notes of blackberry, tar and smoke, and leads to a long, complex finish.

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