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    Chilean Wine Royalty – 2015 Concha y Toro Don Melchor

    Don Melchor MountainsThere are iconic wines in every part of the wine producing world.? Some are older, known for centuries.? Some are younger, having grown up in a newer regions only to soar staggering heights as a statement to the quality that can be achieved when climate and soil allow the noble grapes to thrive.? The great wines of France and Italy certainly have many of the former, well established variety, but they also have new arrivals as well.? In Italy, certainly, the great Super- Tuscans have added to the iconic lists.? Names like Masseto, Ornellaia, Sassicaia and Tignanello did not exist 50 years ago.

    Don Melchor Vineyard in Puente Alto

    Don Melchor Vineyard in Puente Alto

    The Californian icons are relatively new, some still emerging on their own even as we speak.? Today, many associate the entire Napa and Sonoma areas with high end California Cab, more so than singling out the individual producers.? The cult Cabernets do certainly stand alone in name recognition and status.

    South American wine is something that the world has recognized and embraced fairly recently.? There are now many world-class wineries in Chile and Argentina, and many world-class wines.? One name that stands out however, is Don Melchor.? This Bordeaux style blend from Concha y a Toro in Chile was the first of the super-premium wines from Chile.? Launched with the 1987 vintage, it was the first to crack the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list.? That was in 1988.? High scores have followed ever since.

    Always great, in some years it is greater still.? We have the 2015 vintage to review here.

    2015 Concha y Toro Don Melchor – Sourced from the Don Melchor vineyard in Puente Alto, the grapes grow at Don Melchor 2015the feet of the Andes on the northern banks of the Maipo River.? The vineyard is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, with Cabernet Franc taking up about 7% and the rest by small amounts of Merlot and Petit Verdot.? It has an older and a younger section.? The older vines make up 80% of the vineyard, planted as far back as 1979.? A newer block, planted since 2004, makes up the other 20%.?This was intended to be a Bordeaux style blend, more true to the Cabernet Sauvignon dominated Left Bank. ? Winter rains filled in the groundwater reservoirs, and the growing season was even and warm for the 2015 vintage.? Fruit is fermented in separate blocks, and then blended prior to aging for 15 months in French oak, comprised of 69% new wood and the rest second use.? Let’s see what all that resulted in:

    A dark, rich ruby red, the Don Melchor 2015 presents a nose of red berries, along with a little cherry.? Accompanying the fruit are tobacco, herbs and a touch of menthol.? The palate is more cherry than the aforementioned berry flavors, and the menthol hint presents as a ghost of peppermint.? This is rich, full bodied, focused and pure.? The tannins are firm.? It has huge legs on the glass.? You appreciate the balancing acid as it enters the mid-palate, and continues that way through the the long and glorious finish.? If you couldn’t tell yet – we really liked this.? It is a powerful wine with plenty of finesse.? Pure fruit flavors are accentuated with enhancing complexity.? This is a classic wine here.? Wine Spectator gave it 96 points.? James Suckling gave it 98.? On this occasion we would tend to agree (if we gave out points, which we don’t!).

    This is a wine worthy of any occasion.? It is a worthy successor to the wines which have come before it.? If you’re going to splurge, this is an option.? It retails for around $120, but can vary store to store and sometimes you can find it just under $100.

    A votre santé!

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