Don Melchor was Chile’s first “icon” level wine, intended reach the quality and compete at the level of such wines as Opus, Dominus, Tignanello or Bordeaux first growth. Don Melchor’s origin dates to 1986, when Eduardo Guilisasti Tagle, president of Concha y Toro at the time, traveled with his team to Bordeaux to study French methods and determine what could be learned and perhaps used in working the terroir of Chile’s Maipo Valley, where the Don Melchor vineyard is located. The first vintage was 1987 and the second vintage, 1988, became the first Chilean wine to reach The Wine Spectator’s top 100 list and thus rapidly became established as a benchmark of New World wine. Don Melchor gets its name from Melchor Concha y Toro, the winery’s founder, who first brought French grapes varieties to Chile in 1883.
Past Cellar Selections:
One of the advantages of Don Melchor lies in the stony soil carried downstream from the Andes Mountains by the Maipo River. The soil is actually poor in nutrients but diverse in its structure - clay, lime, sand and gravel, which is counterintuitively advantageous for the production of great wine. Another important factor of this unique terroir is the effect of cool breezes from the Andes and a broad oscillation between daytime and nighttime temperatures during the ripening period. These conditions encourage the tannins to ripen slowly and evenly while conserving just the right amount of acidity and fresh red fruit character. It is labeled as Cabernet Sauvignon but there is 7% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.
The 2015 is deep cherry red in color with balance, depth and complexity. Aromas of red fruit intermingle with mineral notes that recall cold ashes and pencil lead. There is a fine, delicate texture on the palate at first which evolves and broadens. The finish is elegant, balanced and intensely expressive. The winery states it will age for more than 20 years. Pair with red meats, stews, terrines and pates, as well as aged or creamy chesses. Don Melchor is a world class collector’s wine and compared to what you would pay for equivalent bottles from say, Bordeaux or Northern California, it can be had for what really is modest lucre.
Concha y Toro Don Melchor 2015
Shelf Price $99.99
Sale Price $89.97
James Suckling, 98pts. – “The aromas of lead pencil, blackcurrant and tar are impressive with just a hint of fresh herb. Sweet tobacco. Iodine. Full body, very tight and polished with ultra-fine tannins and a refined, textured finish. 92% Cabernet Cauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. Drink in 2022.” (3/2018)
Wine Spectator, 96pts. – “An elegant and rich-tasting red, full of concentrated red plum, cherry and currant flavors, backed by suave, medium-grained tannins. The finish offers a caressing palate of lush spice, cocoa powder and cream nuances.” *Highly Recommended* (5/2018)
Decanter, 96pts. – “The current release is a stunning wine. The familiar mineral and dark fruit bouquet leaps from the glass and those notes follow on the palate. Even with the Petit Verdot in the blend, the volume is lower so you hear the notes better. Similar to the 2014, but 2015 exhibits more elegance and poise.” (6/2018)
Jancis Robinson - “Very dark, glossy, purplish crimson. Peppery, herbal nose. Big and sweet start and then very luscious. Some vigorous inkiness. Good stuff. Slightly leathery finish.” (JR) 18+/20 points.” (10/2015)
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