Viña Concha Y Toro Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Maipo Valley, Chile


The Viña Concha Y Toro folks have many different ranges of wine in their vast Chilean portfolio. The Don Melchor range is a single wine offering labelled Cabernet Sauvignon and is the second highest tier from the Clilean powerhouse. They are very upfront about the small amount of Cabernet Franc blended in.

I think I am going to stop mentioning “dark” or colour altogether when discussing red wines, as they are uniformly inky nowadays – and this one is no exception. And you also get no surprises on the nose, maybe a bit of fine unlit cigar in the mix. The beauty of this wine is where it needs to be, in the taste. The wine maker clearly built this wine to appeal to folks who score wines, and sell their scores to folks who feel good buying “icon” wines. This wine is a home-run hitter in that category – it flirts with French sensibilities with the Cabernet Franc finesse. The coffee notes came through beautifully, the herb mix seemed perfect for a Christmas turkey and raspberries like they were just picked and perfectly ripe. The wood was turned up a degree from a French styled blend – but it was really different wood, something not pure oak tasting.

I am not comfortable with the whole wood component of the wine, because I think it is a shame that the wood is present enough to be talked about – but that is the fault with icon wines, icon wine raters and to a greater extent the consumers of said wines. Do we talk about Audrey Hepburn’s make-up? That having been said, it was particularly nice.

Musical Mix: Just like this wine turns to Cabernet Franc in a small amount to gain some finesse, in 1989 Madonna turned to a Gospel Choir to offer some ascension to her (possibly) unholy “Like A Prayer.” IMHO Madonna’s greatest song, she brought her quality rating way up when she moved away from bubble-gum pop and released this great song. Concha Y Toro started to release this Don Melchor line back in the early nineties and had a similar effect on their public perception. One icon deserves another from the same period.

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