These wines were received as tasting samples.
With every glass of wine comes the opportunity to learn something new. Sometimes it’s a new variety, new producer or new region. In the case of this group of wines from Concha y Toro a close look at the labels provides us with the opportunity to learn a bit about three wine regions in Chile. Wine and geography, this should be fun!
Chile lies along the west coast of South America. The slender country, barely 100 miles wide at some points, stretches 3,000 miles from top to bottom and is sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes.
Chile’s wine regions are organized according to geographical place-of-origin laws called Denominación de Origen (D.O.), similar to the American Viticultural Area designations. In general, the wine regions take their names from, and often follow, rivers running in a westerly direction from the Andes toward the Pacific Ocean. An interactive version of the map at the right can be viewed on the Wines of Chile website by clicking See Chilean Valleys. The map will help you understand not only the basic D.O. regional names, but the subzones and zones. Your can also explore Coastal, Entre Cordelleras and Andes Areas by clicking on each heading.
2014 Marques de Casa Concha Chardonnay D.O. Limarí — medium yellow in the glass with generous apple and subtle toasty aromas. Tart apple flavors combine with citrusy acidity and a medium-length finish that includes lingering flavors of citrus pith. 14% abv. SRP $22
D.O. Limarí (Limarí Valley) is a subregion of the larger northern Coquimbo Region about 200 miles north of Santiago. The region is kept cool by sea breezes from the Pacific Ocean that follow the Limarí River inland. In addition, an evening coastal fog called camanchaca blankets the area keeping nighttime temperatures cool. These cooling influences make D.O. Limarí perfect for Chardonnay. The Chardonnay for this bottling is grown in the Llanura de Camarico vineyard.
2014 Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon D. O. Maipo — dark ruby in the glass with initial aromas of plums with a hit of spice and herbaceous notes. Ripe berry and plum flavors are seasoned with black pepper and hints of earth. Tannins are smooth and well integrated with the flavors which are moderate in length. 14% abv. $25
D.O. Maipo is located around the capital city of Santiago and is the northernmost valley of Chile’s larger Central Valley Region. The Maipo region is generally warm and dry with variable soils. The Alto Maipo is a subregion located in the foothills of the Andes. Higher elevations mean cooler temperatures and large diurnal temperature variations which extend the growing season. The area also boasts stony, alluvial soil poor in nutrients. This prime area is the location of the Puente Alto and Pirque vineyards that are the source of the Cabernet Sauvignon for this bottling.
2014 Marques de Casa Concha Carmenere D.O. Peumo — dense ruby in the glass with dark berry aromas. Dark berry flavors predominate with hints of crushed flower stems and cedar spice. Tannins are smooth and well integrated into the medium-length finish. 14% abv. $25
Peumo Vineyard lies in the Cachapoal Valley, south of D.O. Maipo. Together the Colchagua Valley and Cachapoal Valley comprise the D.O. Rapel Valley. The Peumo Vineyard lies along terraces and hills of the Coastal Range following the Cachapoal River. Here, the influence of the River is greater than that of the Andes and Carmenere thrives in the long growing season which the variety requires to fully ripen.
The Marques de Casa Concha range of wines, which also includes Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, is produced by Concha y Toro and represent a group of varietal wines produced largely from single vineyards. The Cabernet Sauvignon is the lone exception and is sourced from two prime vineyards. All vineyards are owned and managed by Concha y Toro.
These wines represent good value for the price and all demonstrate true varietal character. The price is reasonable for everyday drinking as well.
Thanks to Concha y Toro and Creative Palate Communications for a taste of this range of wines.