Monday, July 9, 2018

Standard-Bearing Wines from Chile's Concha y Toro

Concha y Toro fascinates me as a business enterprise. It’s Chile’s biggest wine producer, one of the largest wine companies in the world, and it exports millions of cases of its Casillero del Diablo wine to countries all over the world. It was those wines, and the Marques de Casa Concha brands, that introduced me to Chilean wines a dozen or so years ago. But corporate success aside, the wines are delicious and accessible. 

From entry-level all the way up to the incredible (and expensive) Don Melchor Cabernet, Concha y Toro casts a wide net, with brands at different price points, focusing on different regions. I recently received a handful of Concha y Toro wines (no Don Melchor this time, alas) and found what I usually do when I taste these wines: significant quality and value. 

I also tasted several Carmeneres from different regions and price points, and was reminded again how fun that variety is. These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted. 

2016 Concha y Toro Chardonnay Marqués de Casa Concha - Chile, Limarí Valley
SRP: $22
Bright yellow color. Bright aromas of lemons and limes, with sea salt, nettle, with salted almond and nougat. Crisp yet plump, full but fresh, with creamy, white peach, yellow apples, drizzled with lime. Notes of sea salt and almond mix with honey and toasted biscuits. Harmonious and balanced, impressive for the price, as is usually the case with wines from this line. 12 months in French oak. (89 points)

2016 Concha y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon Marqués de Casa Concha - Chile, Maipo Valley, Puente Alto
SRP: $25
Rich purple color. Dark and saucy waves of currants, plums and black cherries, along with loamy earth, sweet pipe tobacco, menthol, vanilla. Full-bodied with velvety, chewy tannins and tart dark fruit (currants and blueberry), with flavors of scorched earth, coffee. A bold but vibrant wine that could improve for a few years. Includes 5% Syrah and 4% Cabernet Franc, aged 16 months in French oak. (89 points) 

2016 Concha y Toro Carménère Gran Reserva Serie Riberas - Chile, Rapel Valley, Cachapoal Valley, Peumo
SRP: $17
Aromas boast spicy green herbs, charcoal pit, black pepper, sliced bell pepper, along with smoky currants, blackberries and plums. Nicely balanced with fresh acidity and velvety tannins, mixed with tart black cherries and currants. Flavors of coffee grounds, charcoal, grilled herbs and tobacco. Impressive complexity for a wine at this price point. (88 points) 

2016 Concha y Toro Carménère Marqués de Casa Concha - Chile, Rapel Valley
SRP: $25
Spicy herbal nose with black olive and chewing tobacco on top of black cherries and red and black currants. Plush texture on the palate, medium acidity keeps it fresh, this is a plummy, black cherry jam-focused wine with complex elements of tobacco, roasted red pepper, black tea and grilled herbs. A reliably well-made wine. (88 points) 

2016 Concha y Toro Carménère Terrunyo - Chile, Rapel Valley, Cachapoal Valley, Peumo
SRP: $40
Nose shows bold black cherries and dark currant fruit, with a mix of black pepper, campfire smoke, green herbs and roasted red pepper. Dusty tannins and fresh acidity frame the wine nicely, with smoky currants and juicy black cherries provide plenty to munch on. Notes of tobacco, scorched earth, spicy black pepper and green herbs add complexity. Delish. (90 points)

This post first appeared on the daily wine blog Terroirist.

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