— Head winemaker Enrique Tirado
rich – the differences in “expression” were astounding, due to the unique micro-terroir of each parcel, Tirado explains.
The soil of the Puente Alto vineyard has everything to do with the wine’s complexity – and growing success. The vineyard is located on the Maipo River’s oldest alluvial terrace featuring deep layers of clay and alluvial soil composition that is rich and complex, made up of rocky soil, minerals, pebbles and volcanic earth that emerged from the Andes. Excellent drainage inhibits the growth of the grapes, thus creating more complex wines. Furthermore, the Mediterranean climate, combined with hot summers, winter rains, chilly breezes from the Andes and large swings in temperature from day to night, helps to mature the grapes and maintain their acidity.
The 2010 vintage of Don Melchor contains 97 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon and 3 per cent Cabernet Franc that was affected by the year’s cooler climate and plump and ripe fruit that created a more elegant aroma that lingers. It is a wine you can drink it now or keep for another 20 to 25 years.
Each year’s harvest helps the winemakers learn more and more about the soil. Says Tirado: “Though I use technology as a tool to improve on my knowledge, perhaps more importantly, it is by observing and sensing what is happening with each plant and each wine that I am able to find the perfect balance year after year.”
Tirado is also the joint winemaker for Almaviva, another label that is a collaboration between Concha y Toro and renowned Bordeaux wine grower Baron Philippe de Rothschild. As Almaviva is a synthesis of Bordeaux tradition and New World soil, Don Melchor is the better ambassador for revealing the complete picture of Chile’s terroir and spirit of its wines.
Don Melchor is aged in French oak barrels for 12 to 15 months.
Don Melchor 2010 was ranked No. 9 in Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of 2014.