Story and photos by Manos Angelakis
2020 Don Melchor from Concha y Toro
One more time the master winemaker Enrique Tirado enchants us with a new vintage of Don Melchor, the iconic flagship wine of Chile’s Concha y Toro.
For 34 years, Concha y Toro has been making as close to perfect wines in the Puente Alto winery as possible and the 2020 vintage is a very exceptional blend of Cabernet Sauvignon that also includes a soupçon of Cabernet Franc (6%), Merlot (1%) and Petit Verdot (1%).
When it comes to exceptional wines, Chile is amongst the top producers with numerous vineyards and wineries set in the narrow valleys overlooking the Pacific Ocean and are protected by the Andes. The Don Melchor vineyards are set in the Puente Alto DO, of Alto Maipo Valley. The alluvial soils of volcanic origin allow for good drainage and low fertility, which helps check plant growth and improves the quality of the grapes.
Through the years, I’ve tasted many wines of top Chilean producers and I always consider Don Melchor one of the best libations made in that country. This time I will get on a limb and rate the 2020 Don Melchor sample I had at 99/100. Even though young when tasted, the vitality and complexity of this wine is stunning.
The harvest is carried out primarily in April when there is practically no or very little rainfall, warm daytime temperatures and fairly cold nights, providing the ideal conditions for a great vintage. The grapes are hand harvested with each vineyard parcel picked separately. The best berries are hand selected and each parcel is vinified separately in small stainless steel tanks. The lots are kept separate; Enrique and Eric Boissenot, the French winemaker from Lamarque, Bordeaux, taste samples of the different lots and make the final blend which then spends 15 months in French oak barriques (71% new and 29% second use).
The wine’s complexity is breathtaking with black plums, black currants, raspberries and a surprising hint of white peach on the palate; there are soft and elegant tannins. On the nose there is black fruit, tobacco leaf, ash, dried meat and black chocolate. I don’t even mind the hint of oak in this wine; I’m sure as the wine ages the superb balance will remain for the longest time. This wine is full-bodied and polished with impeccable texture and beauty.
When you buy it, cellar it for at least more 5 years. Your patience will be amply rewarded when you open the bottle.
Thank you Enrique and your entire team for this gift of a unique sensation and impeccable taste.
© May 2023 LuxuryWeb Magazine. All rights reserved.
In this issue: