Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc, Chile 2020

Medium straw color; citrus, gooseberry, honeydew melon, lemon, white peach on the nose; grapefruit, peach, green apple, melon, lemon-lime, citrus on the palate.

Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc, Chile 2020

Dry; ripe fruits, juicy texture. Light body. Restrained acidity for a sauv blanc. Easy drinker with pleasurable ripe fruit flavors and a softness you don’t expect in a sauv blanc. This certainly will fit well with sippers put off by New Zealand and French efforts with this varietal. 13% ABV

Concha y Toro consistently delivers great value for price. Casillero del Diablo is one of their premium wine labels, although this is premium price for Chilean wine—it is a super bargain for you. If you pay a few dollars more you can get the “reserva privada” offerings which deliver more complexity and refinement. Don Melchor is Concha y Toro’s flagship label. Lower-end varietal labels include Fontera and Sunrise.

Winemaker Marcelo Papa is responsible for this wine. He earned a degree in enology from Universidad Católica de Chile, joined Concha y Toro, and has been head winemaker at Casillero del Diablo since 1998.

Concha y Toro winemaker Marcelo Papa

Concha y Toro is Chile’s biggest winery and an important player on the world wine stage. Don Melchor de Santiago Concha y Toro founded the winery in 1883. When he saw that some of his best wines disappeared from his cellar, Don Melchor decided to put an end to thefts by creating a story that the devil lived in the cellar, which was in the deepest and darkest part of the winery. The Casillero del Diablo rumor spread. Some claimed to have actually seen diablo (the devil). As the story goes, the thefts stopped. Today, the legend lives on more as a marketing ploy than a ploy to frighten would-be cellar robbers. It is a particularly useful marketing tool around Halloween.

Entrance to Casillero del Diablo cellar
Inside Cellar of the Devil

Concha y Toro, BTW, is Spanish for “shell and bull.” The Casillero del Diablo story may contain some elements of bull, but the wines consistently are very drinkable values, and Chile—and Argentina on the other side of the Andes—are major contributors to the exquisite abundance of quality wines in the world today.

Concha y Toro winery entrance

Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc, Chile 2020 is fresh and flavorful with restrained acidity and surprising softness—relative for a sauv blanc—on the palate. Simple, straightforward. The QPR (quality-price ratio) is the principal asset, but it also is an innocuous pour, so will suit many palates, including non-wine sippers. That makes it an affordable, easy choice for a group event aperitif. There is enough alcohol to slightly loosen things up and set a laid-back mood. Sauv blanc pairs with almost everything, but consider fish tacos; lime chicken; carnitas; fish in general; pork; poultry; vegetarian fare; charcuterie board. Cheese—soft, buttery cheese; goat cheese; triple-cream cheese; manchego, gruyére. $8-11

Viña Concha y Toro website

Casillero del Diablo website with excellent opening video

Concha y Toro grounds
Concha y Toro vineyard and grounds