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Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Cabernet Sauvignon from Maipo Valley, Chile
  • JS98
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14.3% ABV
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4.7 12 Ratings
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4.7 12 Ratings
14.3% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Deep cherry red in color, Don Melchor captivates with its balanced, depth, and complexity. The aromas of red fruits delicately intermingle with mineral notes that recall cold ashes and pencil lead. Fine, delicate textures appear on the palate and show this to be an ample, deep wine with a smooth, fine attack followed by an intense, mouth-filling evolution. Concentrated, expressive, and generous in flavors and aromas with a long finish dominated by the balance and elegance of the various layers of flavors.

Pair with red meats (beef and lamb) and game in different preparations, such as roasts, stews, or braises with red wine, mushrooms, rosemary, and tomatoes. Also pairs very well with assorted terrines and patés, especially duck with truffles, or with aged, dried, or creamy cow’s or goat’s milk cheeses.

Blend: 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 98
James Suckling
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 sauvignon, 7% cabernet franc, 1% petit verdot. Drink in 2022.
WS 96
Wine Spectator
An elegant and rich-tasting red, full of concentrated red plum, cherry and currant flavors, backed suave, medium-grained tannins. The finish offers a caressing palate of lush spice, cocoa powder and cream nuances. Drink now through 2024.
D 96
Decanter
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.
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
It's been a long time since Concha y Toro has put out a Don Melchor Cabernet with this much concentration and overall quality. An earthy nose with foresty berry aromas and generous but controlled oak sets up a fully stacked palate that's chewy but not fiercely tannic. Dark toasty chocolaty black-fruit flavors finish with a note of cherry cough drop and moderate acidity that says this is more or less ready now. Drink through 2025.
Editors' Choice
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
2015 was a warm and dry vintage, and the 2015 Don Melchor shows notes of ripe plums and is subtly balsamic. The palate is round and powerful, with good balance and nice integration of the oak. With time in the glass, more spicy aromas of paprika and merken emerge, but there is a notable absence of green notes. It's a ripe and round vintage of Don Melchor, faithful to the conditions of the year.
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Don Melchor

Don Melchor

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Don Melchor, Maipo Valley, Chile
Video of winery

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.

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.

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.

YNG286602_2015 Item# 414711