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Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Cabernet Sauvignon from Maipo Valley, Chile
  • JS95
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  • RP94
  • WE93
0% ABV
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4.6 18 Ratings
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4.6 18 Ratings
0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Deep cherry red in the glass. The aroma of this wine is elegant and complex, brimming with notes of black currants and spice complemented by chocolate and tobacco. Soft tannins give way to evolving freshness with an elegant, persistent finish.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 95
James Suckling
Gorgeous aromas of eucalyptus, black currants, berries and stones. Medium to full body, fine tannins and tension. Firm, caressing texture. This remains one of the top cabs of Chile as always. Better in 2017.
D 95
Decanter
With 99% Cabernet Sauvignon and some drops of Cabernet Franc, this comes form the tradtional Tocornal Vineyard, planted in the mid-1970s. A cold vintage reveals its herbal, spicy, flavors, but above all a crunchy, vivacious acidity and pungent tannins that need time in a bottle. A brilliant version of a classic.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
Rich and powerful, with balanced and elegant flavors of dried raspberry, mocha, mineral and dark chocolate. Creamy midpalate, presenting a broad and lush finish, revealing slate and white pepper notes. Drink now through 2022.
WW 94
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
One of top wines of the year, the 2011 Concha y Toro Don Melchor is a super, world-class wine that exceeds many of the best from around the globe. Medium to deep ruby color; dense and under-the-radar aromas of red and black currants, super young now and just a bit unsettled, strong suggestion of greatness to come; medium bodied, refined on the palate, sweet tannins give the wine form; dry, medium acidity, well balanced; bright red fruit flavors, with a hint of mineral and dried earth; medium finish, lively long red fruit; bright; black currants in the aftertaste. (Tasted: June 1, 2015, San Francisco, CA)
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
I tasted three bottled vintages of the iconic Cabernet Sauvignon from the Puente Alto appellation in the Maipo Valley, the classical zone for the Bordeaux grape in Chile, starting with the 2011 Don Melchor; this wine had plenty of aromas of graphite, iron, cold ashes, blood and fresh meat -- denoting freshness and seriousness. This year only has 1% Cabernet Franc blended in -- one of the lower, if not the lowest years ever. With time, the more balsamic aromas emerge, which also gives some brightness and light to the nose. The palate is medium-bodied with some sweet fruit and the core of fine-grained, classical Cabernet tannins. This is a fresh, elegant vintage of Don Melchor, a prototype Cabernet from Alto Maipo.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
As per usual, Don Melchor is singing a pretty tune. Deep, dense aromas of floral berry fruits and tarry darkness are solid and complete. Pure, elegant and confident across the palate, this delivers firm cassis, plum and cherry flavors backed by a toasty finish accented by licorice. This is rich and brawny but not heavy; drink through 2023.
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Don Melchor

Don Melchor

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Don Melchor, Maipo Valley, Chile
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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.

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Maipo Valley

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The Maipo Valley is Chile’s most famous wine region. Set in the country’s Central Valley, it is warm and quite dry, often necessitating the use of irrigation. Alluvial soils predominate but are supplemented with loam and clay.

The climate in Maipo is best-suited for ripe, full-bodied reds like Cabernet Sauvignon (the region’s most widely planted grape), Merlot, Syrah and Carmenère, a Bordeaux variety that has found a successful home in Chile.

White wines are also produced with great prosperity, especially near the cooler coast, include Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

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Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy 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 is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile 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 profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

FED553350_2011 Item# 145677