<10 tasting notes
The current vintage is the 2014 Don Melchor, one of the icons of Maipo. The wine has been produced since 1987 from the best lots from their 127 hectares of vineyards in the Puente Alto appellation on alluvial terraces of the Maipo River at 650 meters altitude. In 2014 the bottled wine comes from 20 lots of free-run wine and 35 lots of press wine and contains some 8% Cabernet Franc. It matured in French oak barrels, 65% of them new, for some 15 months. The oak is perfectly integrated, and seeing how the wines from this terroir age, I wouldn't worry at all. This was a low yielding year, a balanced vintage not a lot warmer than 2013, which has resulted in a classical Don Melchor combining power with elegance, with those refined tannins and superb balance. There is a mixture of red and black fruit and even some fresh orange peel notes. Seeing how the older vintages age in bottle, it would be a shame to drink this now; and even if it's drinkable, I prefer them some ten years after the vintage. This is produced from virtually the same vineyards as Almaviva, yet the wines are so different. 90,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in October 2015.
Concha y Toro has some 9,000 hectares of vineyards spread across nine different valleys of Chile. Of course, they are one of the largest wineries in the world, if you put together all the wineries in the group, most probably the largest of all. Under the Concha y Toro brand they market some 15.2 million cases per year, which is 182 million bottles. I tasted with different winemakers including a mini-vertical of the classical iconic Maipo Cabernet Don Melchor with Enrique Tirado. The wine seems to age effortlessly for 20+ years. I also walked the vineyard and saw a pit to understand the alluvial soils where the vines are planted.
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