Founded in 1883, Concha y Toro is regarded as one of the oldest and most well-known wineries in Chile. With a wide variety of experienced winemakers at the helm, Concha y Toro is making waves in the wine world, most notably with Cabernet Sauvignon. Click here to learn more about the winery in detail.
So what makes Chile such a great hotbed for growing remarkable Cabernet Sauvignon?
The DO Puente Alto is located very close to the foothills of the Andes mountains, containing a variety of soil types including alluvial, stony, and a gravel sub-soil. Just like in Bordeaux, the vines have to struggle for their nutrients, which in turn creates wines with solid structure and surprising complexity.
Next we tasted the revered Marques de Casa Concha, 2012 vintage. This Cabernet Sauvignon is some of the best value you can find for under $20 CDN, and one of my go-to favourites. The grapes are grown in the DO Puente Alto, and with both a climate and soil similar to Bordeaux, this wine delivers on all fronts! Complex flavours of ripe blueberries, red and black currants surround a body brimming with silky soft tannins, lively acidity and a hint of charcoal and leather on the finish. This beauty is drinking well now, but shows aging potential of another 3-5 years.
Concha y Toro also produces a more rustic, unfiltered Cabernet Sauvignon with it's 2008 Terrunyo Las Terrazas. With fruit from one of their oldest vineyards, they crafted a bold wine containing flavours of dried cherries and black currants, alongside a hint of dried tobacco leaf mid-palate. Earthy tannins and mouthwatering acidity create a full body that follows through the long, persistent finish. Newer vintages will hold well in cellar for approximately 5 years, but the 2008 is dangerously close to past prime. Strong meats and hard cheeses will pair best with this gallant gem!
Finally, we come to the pinnacle Cabernet, the esteemed, highly rated 2010 Don Melchor. Wine Spectator ranked it as the #9 wine of the year in 2014, and Concha y Toro earned their spot with a finessed body full of black currant, tomato leaf and a sultry hint of smoke. The silky tannins are well integrated and linger through the smooth finish. Decant for 1-2 hours before enjoying, and pair this with a Ribeye or Filet Mignon!
It is easy to see why Concha y Toro is a benchmark winery for Cabernet Sauvignon in Chile. By using the best quality grapes from their esteemed vineyards, each sub-brand of their wines are consistent in body and flavour, allowing them to produce a house style of quality that will be hard to replicate by others. Enjoy the fruits of Concha y Toro's labour, whether you are new to red wines, a wine geek, or a wine conoisseur-they have a wine for you. Cheers!