Decanter highlights Don Melchor as the father of Chilean icon wines
According to the prestigious British magazine, the Concha y Toro icon wine was the “first Chilean super wine”, opening the category to the world and helping to install fine Chilean wines on the global stage.
Decanter, the prestigious British magazine, published an article highlighting Don Melchor’s career, calling it the first Chilean super wine and the precursor of Chilean icons.
The journalist Michael Apstein emphasized the decision of Concha y Toro to bet on the elaboration of a high-end wine in the eighties, when Chile did not have any wine of this category and the wine scene was still incipient.
Apstein tasted 23 vintages of Don Melchor, giving excellent scores for many of them, highlighting it as a bright wine, which “stands next to the best wines in the world based on Cabernet Sauvignon, including those of Bordeaux and the Napa Valley.
Don Melchor is the first icon wine of Chile, coming from the outstanding and renowned vineyard of Puente Alto, located at the foot of the Andes Mountain, on the north bank of the Maipo River. Don Melchor is the only Chilean wine with this trajectory, where the fineness and elegance of this Cabernet Sauvignon have managed to bring Don Melchor to a place of honor in the global winemaking scenario and positioning it among the world’s great wines.
Concha y Toro, Puente Alto, Don Melchor, Maipo Valley, 2015
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.
Concha y Toro, Puente Alto, Don Melchor, Maipo Valley, 2014
A baby, to be sure, with an explosive combination of dark fruit and minerals on the nose. On the palate, the concentrated fruit dominates, but exotic notes on the finish suggest great things will emerge over time. Refined tannins and brilliant freshness ensure balance.
Concha y Toro, Puente Alto, Don Melchor, Maipo Valley, 2012
Another more muscular Don Melchor compared to those from a decade earlier. Its fruit-driven profile is complemented with minerals and earthiness, making for a tremendously engaging young wine. Long, fresh and refined, it should evolve well over the next decade or two.
Concha y Toro, Puente Alto, Don Melchor, Maipo Valley, 2007
A return to elegance, with a suaveness to the concentrated flavours. Though not yet showing mature notes, the balance of dark fruit and minerals with a hint of bitterness makes it engaging.
Concha y Toro, Puente Alto, Don Melchor, Maipo Valley, 2005
Tirado fine-tuned the riper style of Don Melchor even more. Youthful and powerful, for better or worse, the mintiness is gone, replaced by hints of cedar, tobacco and minerals. Long and precise, it’s a very pretty, but tight, youthful wine.
Concha y Toro, Puente Alto, Don Melchor, Maipo Valley, 2003
Dark and powerful, like a tightly coiled spring. A dazzling array of minerals, tar and dark fruit; invigorating freshness, with refined tannins. Should evolve beautifully.
Concha y Toro, Puente Alto, Don Melchor, Maipo Valley, 2002
Superb and still youthful, but developing nicely. A Pauillac-like power paired with exquisite elegance. Those who prize fruit and muscle over maturity will love it now. But I’d leave it for another five years.
Concha y Toro, Puente Alto, Don Melchor, Maipo Valley, 2000
Still vigorous and voluptuous. Retains charm, especially on the nose. It’s ripe, yet not jammy thanks to its structure and acidity. An attractive bitterness on the finish keeps it in balance, finely honed tannins adding to its overall elegance.
Concha y Toro, Puente Alto, Don Melchor, Maipo Valley, 1999
The first vintage with Cabernet Franc is far more youthful than the 1997 or 1998. It continues the trend to minimise the mint notes. More robust than earlier vintages, but not out of balance, it delivers dark fruit accented by leafy and mineral elements.
Concha y Toro, Puente Alto, Don Melchor, Maipo Valley, 1998
Another outstanding wine, this exhibits discreet minty notes that amplify the black fruit and minerality. Powerful without being brash or overdone, its elegance is striking. Refined tannins and a seemingly never ending finish make it perfect for drinking now.
Concha y Toro, Puente Alto, Don Melchor, Maipo Valley, 1997
Perhaps the result of Tirado taking the reins, the 1997 marks a stylistic turning point. A Pauillac like tarry minerality replaces mint notes. Powerful but restrained, like a sleek racehorse waiting to sprint. A wonderful mix of tar, earth and dark fruit; polished tannins.
Concha y Toro, Puente Alto, Don Melchor, Maipo Valley, 1996
The 1996 is gorgeous now at 20 years of age. Bright, lively acidity buttresses its richness. Beautifully balanced, everything comes together without a trace of heaviness. The bares hint of eucalyptus adds intrigue. In short, it sings.
Concha y Toro, Puente Alto, Don Melchor, Maipo Valley, 1994
Despite more than two decades of age, the 1994 expands in the glass. Subtle mint and herb notes enhance the dried dark fruit flavours. Suave tannins juxtapose with mature notes and freshness to make this a joy to drink.
Concha y Toro, Puente Alto, Don Melchor, Maipo Valley, 1991
Fully mature without a hint of decline, this combines a lovely leafy character with berry-like fruitiness and a subtle firmness that belie its age. The wine’s new world origins are shown by a touch of minty chocolate. Rich without being overdone, it’s a delight to drink.
Concha y Toro, Puente Alto, Don Melchor, Maipo Valley, 1990
A lovely combination of earthy, leafy and fruity notes, both on the nose and palate, this has developed marvellously. Velvety tannins lend support and accents of mint add allure. Long, bright and still vigorous.
Concha y Toro, Puente Alto, Don Melchor, Maipo Valley, 1988
The second vintage of Don Melchor has developed brilliantly and is thrilling to drink at 30 years of age. Surprisingly vigorous, it delivers harmonious dried fruit and earthy flavours. A hint of mint reflects its Maipo origin.