The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2014

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Page 52 of 148

52  /  the tasting panel  / september 2014 A line of award-winning, boutique-quality, single-vineyard wines in the range of $20 per bottle: this is the Marqués de Casa Concha line in a nutshell—or should one say "seashell" (concha in Spanish)? Marqués de Concha is the creation of Concha y Toro, Chile's foremost wine company, known for creating wines at price points that reliably deliver more than expected. True to form, in 1999 Concha y Toro introduced the upscale Marqués de Casa Concha range at mid-level prices. The name reflects the title of nobility bestowed on Chile's Concha y Toro family in 1718 by King Felipe V of Spain. Each Marqués de Casa Concha wine is made from estate-grown fruit from a single vineyard, with each terroir carefully chosen for the best match of grape-to-location. All the vineyards are owned by Concha y Toro, enabling the company to manage every aspect of its wine- growing principles. For the entire Marqués de Casa Concha line, the fruit, for example, is hand-picked for greater quality control, and then aged in French oak. Marqués de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the famed Puente Alto vineyard in Maipo, the home of the iconic Don Melchor, also a Concha y Toro wine and Chile's first cult wine. Think of the Marqués de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon as a "baby Don Melchor." At 2,347 feet above sea level, one of the highest sites in Maipo's Pirque region is the Santa Isabel Vineyard, planted to Chardonnay. It yields "amazing wines with tremendous power, figgy character and high acidity" says Marcelo Papa, who oversees the winemaking at Marqués de Casa Concha, as well as for Concha y Toro's Casillero del Diablo range and at the independent Maycas del Limarí venture. The Marqués de Casa Concha Merlot and Syrah both come from the Rapel Valley, to the south of Maipo. In the Peumo Vineyard, warm Mediterranean days ripen the lush Merlot fruit, while the cooling influence of the nearby Cachapoal River creates smooth tannins, a trademark of this variety. This ability to provide true value is a hallmark of Concha y Toro. One of the newer expressions of this talent is the already award-laden, single-vineyard Marqués de Casa Concha range of wines. Meet the Winemaker Marcelo Papa may not be a household name (not quite yet), but it's safe to say that this talented, self-effacing Chilean winemaker has an established worldwide following. For the past 15 years, Papa has been responsible for crafting some of Chile's best- known, most popular wines: Concha y Toro's immensely successful and internationally acclaimed Casillero del Diablo range. Under Papa's direction, Marqués de Casa Concha wines have earned some of the most coveted accolades in Chilean winemaking. Just as Chile's diverse terroir is highlighted in these wines, Papa's award-winning expertise is equally on display. Single Vineyards, Singular Values MARQUÉS DE CASA CONCHA SHOWCASES CHILEAN TERROIRS AT A MODEST PRICE POINT CHILE

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