Dark wine-red color with mahogany on the rim; black cherry, plum, raspberry, chocolate on the nose; ripe black fruits, black currant tang on the palate.
Bit of rustic on the pop-and-pour including some green bell pepper, but it quickly gets more gentlemanly with air while retaining its Chilean cab boldness and muscle. Tannins are sweet and well-behaved throughout; moderate acidity; tasty, juicy, concentrated dark fruit flavors.
Mostly cab, but also some carménère—which likely adds the bell pepper and contributes to the raspberry and dark plum. Cab’s black cherry, black currant, and black plum, however, play the lead roles; some oak and chocolate and red cherry add riffs, too. Medium-full body and strives for silkiness with air exposure. As with so many bold reds, decanting helps reveal all the wine’s possibilities. Also has impressive cellaring possibilities for a wine in its price range.
Concha y Toro is the leading winery in Chile, and Serie Riberas is their flagship line of wine. Gran Reserva Serie Riberas (“Riverbank Series”) wines are single-vineyard efforts grown in the Colchagua Valley, close to one of Chile’s four major rivers formed by meltwater from snow packs in the nearby Andes. The rivers created mineral-rich basins and valleys and give a passageway for fresh, cool Pacific Ocean breezes to reach the vineyards, engendering slow and even maturation of grapes, as well as conservation of water. Same time, the cab vineyards have poor soil, which engenders struggle by the vines and, thus, concentration of flavor. The vines fought to give you these grapes, and their struggle reflects nicely in the glass.
Concha y Toro Gran Reserva Serie Riberas Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 is ridiculously affordable, quality cab that drinks several shelves above its price. Concha y Toro is a world-class player in the wine world and consistently produces quality wines at superb prices; this is another stunning example. $15-17
Other photos: Concha y Toro winery; barrel room at Concha y Toro.