The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2013

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Page 44 of 162

WINE NEWS Iconic Cab DON MELCHOR SET THE BAR FOR CHILEAN CABERNET SAUVIGNON B PHOTO COURTESY OF CONCHA Y TORO orn of the idea to create a truly world class Cabernet Sauvignon in Chile that would hold its own among the great wines from Bordeaux and Napa, Conch y Toro's Don Melchor, releasing its 23rd vintage this year, is proving to be just that. Named in honor of company founder Don Melchor Concha y Toro, this small production, complex and cellar-worthy jewel of a wine was first conceptualized in the mid-1980s when Concha y Toro identified that one of its vineyards, Puente Alto, was providing exceptional fruit to work with. With its own winemaking team and facility, Don Melchor is treated as an independent winery by its huge parent company, who considers it the flagship wine in its Chilean portfolio. That suits everyone involved just fine. "They give me almost complete autonomy'" says winemaker Enrique Tirado, who oversees production of Don Melchor. "The first few vintages were made with 100 percent Cabernet, which helped define its potential. Since 1997, we've been blending it with up to ten percent of either Cabernet Franc or Merlot, depending on the year." The adjustment seems to be working, and the commitment to making not just a benchmark Chilean example of Cabernet, but a global one, has made Don Melchor a must have on wine lists and for intuitive collectors. Don Melchor is imported by Banfi's Excelsior Wines division; the current 2009 vintage has an SRP of $125. —David Ransom 44  /  the tasting panel  / june 2013 TP0613_042-79.indd 44 C M Y CM MY CY CMY K Don Melchor winemaker Enrique Tirado. 5/23/13 4:32 PM

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