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Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Cabernet Sauvignon from Maipo Valley, Chile
  • JS98
  • WS96
  • RP94
14.5% ABV
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4.6 19 Ratings
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4.6 19 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

#90 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2017

Excellent expression of Cabernet Sauvignon’s characteristic red fruit aromas followed by mineral notes of ash and pencil lead. Great complexity on the palate with outstanding concentration and freshness accompanied by velvety tannins.

Blend: 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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JS 98
James Suckling
Wonderful aromas of stones, mint and blackcurrants. Sweet tobacco. Tile and rust. So aromatic. This is the best Don Melchor I have ever tasted. Full body, very soft yet firm and silky. It has tension, intensity and balance.
WS 96
Wine Spectator
A ripe, rich and full-bodied red, with powerful flavors of dark cherry, plum pudding and currant that feature a lush creaminess. Firm and savory midpalate, ending with a long and refined finish that shows mineral and cocoa butter accents, supported by dusty tannins. Drink now through 2024.
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The current vintage is the 2014 Don Melchor, one of the icons of Maipo. The wine has been produced since 1987 from the best lots from their 127 hectares of vineyards in the Puente Alto appellation on alluvial terraces of the Maipo River at 650 meters altitude. In 2014 the bottled wine comes from 20 lots of free-run wine and 35 lots of press wine and contains some 8% Cabernet Franc. It matured in French oak barrels, 65% of them new, for some 15 months. The oak is perfectly integrated, and seeing how the wines from this terroir age, I wouldn't worry at all. This was a low yielding year, a balanced vintage not a lot warmer than 2013, which has resulted in a classical Don Melchor combining power with elegance, with those refined tannins and superb balance. There is a mixture of red and black fruit and even some fresh orange peel notes. Seeing how the older vintages age in bottle, it would be a shame to drink this now; and even if it's drinkable, I prefer them some ten years after the vintage. This is produced from virtually the same vineyards as Almaviva, yet the wines are so different. 90,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in October 2015.
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Don Melchor

Don Melchor

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Don Melchor, South America
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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.

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