2013 Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon: An Elegant Cabernet from Concha y Toro

This wine was received as a tasting sample.

Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon2013 Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon, Puente Alto — dense ruby in the glass with earthy, dark fruit aromas seasoned with hints of dried herbs, black pepper and vanilla. Ripe red berries combine with plum and blackberry flavors, hints of cedar, leather and earth. Interesting backnotes of dried alfalfa lend complexity to this medium-bodied wine. Tannins are velvety smooth and the flavors are relatively long lasting. 14.5% abv. $125

Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon represents the very top wine made by Chile’s Concha y Toro. The wine is named for the founder of Viña Concha y Toro, Don Melchor Concha y Toro, and the source of the Cabernet Sauvignon is the vineyard site first planted by Don Melchor in 1890. The Puente Alto Vineyard was originally planted with cuttings imported from France. Today, the Puente Alto Vineyard includes 314 acres dedicated to Don Melchor and 210 acres that produce Almaviva, a joint venture with Château Mouton Rothschild.

The 2013 Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Cabernet Franc. The 2013 growing season was the coldest since Don Melchor’s time and resulted in a harvest that started 10 days later than normal. According to the winery the later harvest:

allowed the grapes to ripen slowly and reach the end of the season with exceptionally well-ripened tannins along with good fruit expression, freshness, and personality.

Vineyard blocks were harvested and vinified separately, beginning with fermentation in stainless steel tanks. An 11-day post-fermentation maceration followed. Each lot was tasted individually and blended before aging in French oak for 15 months. About 2/3 new oak and 1/3 second-use oak barrels were used.

This is the second vintage of Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon we have had the opportunity to sample; the style and quality remain consistent. All of this attention to detail has resulted in an elegant, balanced Cabernet Sauvignon that tastes delicious now and should continue to age beautifully for years to come. Good luck keeping your hands off the bottle for very long, though, once you buy it.


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