Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
#12 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2008
Don Melchor was hailed the best Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile by both the Wine Spectator and Robert Parker. Named after the founder of the winery, Don Melchor de Concha y Toro, the wine has become a symbol of the best the land and the winemaker's hand can produce in Chile.
The Puente Alto Vineyard in the Maipo Valley has the perfect combination of climate and soils for producing world-class wine: the climate is ideal and predictable, and the soil is poor and gravelly to reduce yields and increase concentration naturally. After fermentation, the wine is matured in the finest French oak barriques for 14 months, followed by another year in the bottle before release.
Ripe fleshy fruit and berries lead off this highly aromatic wine. Later, the tobacco and chocolate come through and marry with the vanilla. Agreeable, mature tannins elegantly convey the best expression of the Puente Alto vines. The pleasant, long finish displays great harmony and balance.
"Still very tight, but the tannins that lead the way now are sleek and refined and should easily meld into the huge core of roasted chestnut, black currant paste, warm fig and tar. Has a long, coffee- and loam-tinged finish. Best from 2009 through 2019." 96 Points,
"Inky purple hue. Heady, perfumed scents of maple, cinnamon and blackberry. Juicy, velvety berry fruit explodes on the palate with continued sweet maple flavorings. Tart on a spicy close with focused red and black fruit and silky tannin impressions." 95 Points
The Wine News
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Don Melchor, named after Concha Y Toro’s founder, is among Chile’s most-acclaimed wines and a Cabernet that belongs in every conversation about world-class interpretations of this singular varietal. Winemaker Enrique Tirado says of his vision for the wine, “Don Melchor’s style, complexity, and elegance are the extension of the perfect balance between the rocky soils in Puente Alto, the cold winds that slide down from the Andes Mountains, the generous climate of the Maipo Valley, the number of years the vines have taken to yield their best grapes, and the meticulous and caring work of the human hand.”
The signature wine from the exquisitely tended Puente Alto vineyard, Don Melchor celebrates its 30th vintage with the 2016 release. Set at the foot of the Andes Mountains on the northern banks of the Maipo River in the Upper Maipo Valley, 650 meters above sea level, the vineyard dates back to the mid-19th century, when the first pre-phylloxera French varieties were brought to Chile. Today, the vineyard consists of 127 hectares, divided into seven parcels, 90% of which are Cabernet Sauvignon, 7.1% are Cabernet Franc, 1.9% are Merlot, and 1% are Petit Verdot. Each parcel has been subdivided in order for very specific, detailed work that responds to the particular needs of each plant, row by row, to achieve the perfect balance with the weather characteristics of each year. Average vine age is over 30 years.
Every year, Winemaker Enrique Tirado travels to the small town of Lamarque, Bordeaux, France, to meet with renowned Bordeaux consultant Eric Boissenot, to taste approximately 150 lots from the vineyard and determine which lots, and in which proportions, will go into the new vintage of Don Melchor. Once the final blend has been defined, the new vintage of Don Melchor is transferred to French oak barrels from the Allier, Tronçois, and Nevers forests. Nearly two-thirds of the barrels are new, and the remaining third have had one prior use. After 14–15 months, the wine is bottled and aged for another year to develop the complexity and elegance that Don Melchor is known for.