Dark ruby-crimson color; herbs, cherry, tobacco, minerals, pinch of earth on the nose; plum, redcurrant, cherry, black fruit notes, spice, cocoa on the palate.
Dry; fully body; suave, medium-grained tannins; moderate acidity; chewy, creamy, elegant in the mouth. Generous but nicely handled oak—finished in 70% new French wood for 15 months. Nicely smooth, round, powerful. Concentrated, superb fruits. Layers of flavors are not overly complex, but evolve nicely from initial attack through long, satisfying finish. Blend of 92% cabernet sauvignon, 7% cabernet franc, 1% petit verdot.
This is exemplary effort. Major critics’ scores range from James Suckling at 98 to Robert Parker at 93. Decanter (96): “The current release is a stunning wine.” Wine Enthusiast: “It’s been a long time since Concha y Toro has put out a Don Melchor Cabernet with this much concentration and overall quality.” Jancis Robinson: 18+ points (Janis scores on a 20-point scale). I do not score wines, but these from top critics who do reflects the delicious, sophisticated achievement of this effort.
The Puente Alto vineyard is located at the foot of the Andes Mountains on the northern bank of the Maipo River. It covers 300 acres, 90% planted in cab, 7.1% in cab franc, 1.9% in merlot, and 1% in petit verdot. Only the merlot did not make it into this wine; the remaining three are here in almost same percentages as the planting. The average age of the vines is more than 30 years.
Concha y Toro headquarters in Santiago, Chile, and is one of the global leaders in wine. The original vineyard was founded by Don Melchor de Santiago Concha y Toro and his wife, Emiliana Subercaseux in 1883. The original grapes came from Bordeuax. The vineyard was incorporated as a stock company in 1923, with shares sold on the Santiago stock market. In 1933, Concha y Toro began exporting wine through the port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. In 1987, it partnered with U.S. importer Banfi Vintners, upgraded technology, and began its rise to a significant player on the world wine stage. In 1994, shares of Viña Concha began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Marcelo Papa is the head winemaker today.
Concha y Toro is not just a Chilean winemaker today. Their California brands include Fetzer, Bonterra, Five Rivers, Bel Arbor, Jekel Vineyards, Coldwater Creek, Sanctuary, and Little Black Dress.
Concha y Toro Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon Puente Alto Vineyard 2015 is a stunning wine that can be appreciated by people not that into higher-dollar, sophisticated wine. The tannins are approachable even without decanting. The vivid and varied fruit is gorgeous. It all hangs together, no awkward moments, no hard edges, delicious from initial attack through the long finish. This is a signature wine from Chile’s wine behemoth. Pair with beef, lamb, wild game; roasts, stews, braises with mushrooms, tomatoes, rosemary, red wine; duck with truffles; aged cow or goat milk cheese. Works sipped solo with just some neutral wine crackers. $99-125