2019 Concha Y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon Don Melchor
James Suckling | 98 JS
James Suckling | 98 JS
(Viña Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon Don Melchor Red) The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Don Melchor is also 5% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot and spent 15 months in 75% new French barrels. Vivid garnet in color. The rich, complex nose presents notes of black currant, mint, and hints of balsam and ash over a bed of oak and a whiff of cedar. In the mouth, hefty volume, fine-grained tannins and a broad expression combine, supported by a structure that is rather delicate for a wine of this intensity. The long-lasting finish ends with an aftertaste of fruit and mint before the oak has the final say. This will grow in the bottle. (Drink between 2024-2034)
Vinous Media | 96 VM
A standout red, offering svelte entry but quickly accelerating to a rich and well-structured state, built around never wavering flavors of black cherry, plum and baking spice, which gain dimension from fresh mineral acidity and subtle loam and bay leaf nuances. Ends with rich, well-integrated and mouthcoating tannins as well as hints of cocoa. Drink now through 2028. 11,500 cases made, 4,000 cases imported.
Wine Spectator | 94 WS
There is a little more ripeness in the 2019 Don Melchor, which in warmer years shows notes of ripe plums and is subtly balsamic. The palate is round and powerful, with good balance and nice integration of the oak. As usual, there is a combination of elegance and power, with subtle mintiness and harmony. 156,000 bottles were produced. It was bottled in December 2020.
Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RP
Wine Details for 2019 Concha Y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon Don Melchor
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: Whether you prefer the potency of an elegant Cabernet Sauvignon, the seductive appeal of Syrah, or the compelling puzzle of a top-notch Pinot Noir, Chile has more to offer than you can even imagine. Their wines are more than eloquent when it comes to terroir expression, and they paint these varietals in a heavenly light.
: It is recognized worldwide, referred to as “king of grapes” and has easily become the most popular grape variety in the world. Cabernet Sauvignon has seemingly taken the world by storm. It has seen exponential growth and popularity in American and around the world over the past thirty years. The phrase “Cabernet is king,” is a common maxim in the world of wine. Cabernet Sauvignon wine has become so popular that when being referred to can be recognized by simple slang, such as “Cab” or “Cabernet. It might appear simple, straightforward and easily understood; yet, interestingly remains an enigma, which has both baffled and excited oenologists since its discovery.
The exact origin and circumstances of this world-altering event are still enigmatic; however, at the end of the 20th century, UC Davis Scientists (John Bowers and Carole Meredith) were able to solve part of the mystery using DNA fingerprinting technology that proved Cabernet Sauvignon to be the offspring of a surprising spontaneous crossing of Bordeaux varietals, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. By the 18th century there were already records of Cabernet Sauvignon being well-established on the west side of the Gironde Estuary (Left Bank) in the Medoc and Graves.
Although tremendously popular in California and what seems to have become the identity of Napa Valley winemaking, Cabernet Sauvignon’s birth took place in the Bordeaux region of southwest France by fortuitous unification. Whereas Napa Valley experienced a winemaking renaissance during the 1970’s and 1980s (greatly due to the 1976 Judgement of Paris) quality wine from the Cabernet Sauvignon grape has been produced in the Medoc, on the Left Bank of Bordeaux for over 400 years.
Cabernet Sauvignon’s first recorded plantings in California can be traced back to the 1850’s when Antoine Delmas, a French nurseryman, brought French vines (including one called ‘Cabrunet’) to the Santa Clara Valley. Early cultivation suffered due to obscurity of the varietal and improper planting in inhospitable soil. It wasn’t until pioneers such as Robert Mondavi, Randy Dunn and Warren Winiarski with their amazing foresight and understanding of terroir, would the grape variety finally find its niche in California winemaking.
Cabernet Sauvignon thrives in warm climates moderated by a cooling marine influence. It is perfectly attuned to gravel-based soils with good drainage. Whether on flat land or a hillside, the Cabernet Sauvignon grape flourishes in proper climates and terroir, producing incredible yields. The thick grapevine is extremely vigorous allowing it to exploit its natural host. Its distinctive small, black berries (reminiscent of blueberries) adhere firmly to the stalk and are capable of a very long “hang time.” These berries are extremely concentrated, producing intensely flavored fruit. The thick skins of the grape are characterized as having highly astringent flavor, high tannin, acidity and dark color. Coincidentally, the variety has a special affinity for oak, which helps soften the bitterness.
Today, the Noble Bordeaux varietal of Cabernet Sauvignon is planted on 340,000 hectares (741,300 acres) of vineyards across the earth’s surface. From Sicily to Sonoma, Chile to Bordeaux, South Africa to Napa. It has found symbiosis in terroir hotspots that mimic that of the Medoc and Napa Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon’s globetrotting has allowed the grape variety to take root all over the world, captivating its inhabitants and influencing winemaking. This serendipitous marriage between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc centuries ago, which offered to the world its progeny, has changed the landscape of winegrowing, winemaking and the face of the entire wine market forever. It has influenced blending, changed civilization and has cultivated a place for itself in today’s world… the very pinnacle.
: Each winegrowing country tends to have a signature grape variety; one that is both beloved by local vintners and one that usually tells a story. Chile is no exception; its key grape is of French origin and one that was considered extinct. Carmenere was thought to have been completely destroyed after the phylloxera outbreak in the 19th Century, but was rediscovered in Chile in the 1990s. It was a major stroke of luck as it has completely re-invigorated the Chilean wine industry. Chile is one of South America’s most important wine producing countries and is often associated with good-value wines. In the last few decades it has become well known for its world-class reds, commanding attention and top-dollar pricing. Names such as Almaviva, Concha y Toro and Casa Lapostolle have become globally recognized, fueling the country’s economy and it’s already thriving wine industry.
Today, the Bordeaux varietal excels in its adopted home and its wide range of terroirs. Since the 1990’s Chilean producers have adapted their vinification methods and extended the ripening period. This has greatly increased the quality of the fruit and the wine produced. Carmenere featured in blends and single variety bottling is continuing to gain traction on the world market. Chile is no “one-trick pony” however, and has made huge strides in competing on the world-level. Bordeaux varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot have always been mainstays, while Malbec, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec have been a supporting cast. Pinot Noir from the cooler parts of Chile is beginning to make an impression and Syrah is increasing in popularity in many wine producing regions. White wine plantings are led by Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Riesling and Semillon, expanding not only the quantity of varietals cultivated, but also many different stylings. This, of course, could not be possible without Chile’s vast array of micro-climates and terroirs.
Chile’s topography is very favorable to viticulture and despite the fact that the country is only 100 miles wide, it does spans 2,700 miles of land running north-south. The thin strip of land is situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains which creates an array of climatic variations. The growing regions are greatly influenced by the Pacific and the Antarctic Humboldt currents, which brings cooling breezes to coastal vineyard, while the sheltering presence of the coastal mountain range makes Chile’s Central Valley relatively warm and dry. The high altitudes of the Andes provides a temperate climate in many places that may be otherwise considered hot and arid, but even more importantly, the melt water supplies natural irrigation, supplying the many regions in the foothills with a much needed water source.
Chile’s location between the Pacific Ocean and the forbidding barrier of the Andes has allowed the country to be spared from phylloxera. It is ironic that a Bordeaux varietal that was nearly exterminated in Europe, survived this world-wide epidemic, only to help revive its protective host’s viticultural industry. Today, Chile has 194,000 hectares under vine, with an annual wine output of 10.3 million hectoliters, placing it among the top ten wine producing nations in the world.
: The long but narrow shape of the country can trick one into assuming there's not much room for diversity in winemaking between Chile's eastern and western borders, but this couldn't be farther from the truth. New regions and sub-regions are being discovered and classified even now due to the deeply nuanced landscape and climate within this country. Chile has won prizes for its breathtaking, opulent, rich, sophisticated wines that somehow still find ways to improve each year. Its winemaking tradition is long considering it's a New World wine region. Combined with modern styles and methods of production, the wines produced as a result encompass the best sides of both worlds.
Packed with fragrant fruit but supplemented by a herbal profile, these wines naturally seduce the harshest critics. Though the grapes grown in Chilean vineyards are generally international varieties like Chardonnay, Merlot, Carmenere, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon, it's the specific terroir, growing conditions and unique culture that make Chilean wines stand out among the crowd. Chilean viticulture is still in its infancy, but its potential is now being revealed and the wines produced here are rapidly becoming a hit in the industry. Exuberant, complex, nuanced as they are bold, easily approachable yet hardly forgotten, wines like these cannot be found just anywhere.
|Producer||Concha Y Toro|