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Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile
  • RP95
  • WS94
  • WE94
14% ABV
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4.3 16 Ratings
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4.3 16 Ratings
14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Deep-ruby red. Ripe plums, cassis, chocolate and tobacco, accompanied with notes of vanilla on the nose. Elegant, full-bodied with mature tannins, which make the wine complex and pleasant.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2006 Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon is a glass-coating opaque purple with an alluring bouquet of toast, tobacco, cedar, leather, mocha, and blackcurrant. Sweet, voluptuous (but not in a fruit bomb kind of way), layered, and complex already, its superb balance will ensure at least a decade of evolution and it should drink well through 2036.

Don Melchor is the flagship wine of Concha y Toro, a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon cuvee that was started in 1987, making it Chile’s senior icon. I feel confident about this because the winery kindly sent along a 1993 and a 1995 Don Melchor to provide context. The 1993 (94 points) reveals the nuance of a well-aged wine but with the balance to provide pleasure for another 10-15 years. The 1995 (95 points) is a bit rounder and more elegant, also with another 10-15 years of prime drinking ahead.

WS 94
Wine Spectator
A dark, muscular style, with black currant, braised fig, maduro tobacco, bittersweet cocoa and loam notes that all roll together through the dense but polished finish. There's impressive power for the vintage, along with precision and balance. Drink now through 2018.
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
The price for one of Chile's flagship wines keeps climbing, but fortunately so does the quality. Winemaker Enrique Tirado has crafted yet another pounding, saturated Cabernet. It’s wonderfully meshed yet potent and fierce. Boysenberry, cassis and kirsch flavors control the extracted palate, while the finish is warm, creamy and fun, sort of like a milkshake. At 14.5%, Melchor is at its max. Hold until 2010 and then drink through 2015.
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Don Melchor

Don Melchor

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Don Melchor, Chile
Image of winery
The story of the Don Melchor wine begins in the mid-1980s when the Chilean wine industry was undergoing another transformation and beginning to create very high quality wines. A dream began to take shape at Viña Concha y Toro that would eventually change the future of Chilean wines forever and Peynaud immediately recognized the excellence of the wines from that terroir and suggested that his closest colleague, Jacques Boissenot, consultant for renowned French châteaux, lead the project.

The adventure had already begun two years earlier, when Mr. Eduardo Guilisasti insisted that his son Rafael and winemaker Goetz Von Gersdorff travel to Bordeaux, France to meet with the renowned French maestro Emilie Peynaud, considered the father of modern winemaking. They showed him the Cabernet Sauvignon from the Puente Alto Vineyard.

For Concha y Toro a wine begins with the vines. Don Melchor is the faithful expression of a Cabernet Sauvignon from a specific terroir in the Puente Alto Vineyard, which is divided into blocks that are homogenous in vigor. Each block is managed according to its specific needs for balanced growth in every vine.

The first vintage of Don Melchor was 1987, and from the beginning, French winemaker Jacques Boissenot, one of Bordeaux’s most respected consultants, has participated in defining and making the final blend of each Don Melchor since the very first vintage. Today his son, Eric Boissenot, continues his legacy as Don Melchor winemaker Enrique Tirado’s consultant.

A source of reliable, budget-friendly wines and, increasingly, more premium bottlings, Chile is one of South America’s most important wine-producing countries. Long and thin, it is largely isolated geographically, bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Andes Mountains to the east, and the Atacama desert to the north. These natural borders gave Chile the very favorable benefit of being the only country to avoid the disastrous phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s. As a result, vines can be planted on their own rootstock rather than grafted. Though viticulture was introduced to the country by conquistadors from Spain, today Chile’s wine production is most influenced by the French, who emigrated here in large numbers to escape the blight of phylloxera. These settlers have invested heavily in local vineyards and wineries.

Chile’s vineyards, planted mainly with international varieties, vary widely in climate and soil type from north to south. The Coquimbo region in the far north contains the Elqui and Limari Valleys, where minimal rainfall and intense sunlight are offset by chilly breezes from the Humboldt current to produce cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Aconcagua region contains the eponymous Aconcagua Valley—hot and dry and home to full-bodied red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot—as well as Casablanca Valley and San Antonio Valley, which focus on light-bodied Pinot Noir and cool-climate whites like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The Central Valley is home to the Maipo, Rapel, Curicó, and Maule Valleys, which produce a wide variety of red and white wines. Maipo in particular is known for Carmenère, Chile’s unofficial signature grape. In the up-and-coming southern regions of Bio Bio and Itata, excellent cool-climate Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir are made.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

GSMMELCHOR_2006 Item# 97552