James Suckling
Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
Wine Spectator
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Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

37 units available online.
Product description
Don Melchor, named after Concha Y Toro’s founder, is among Chile’s most-acclaimed wines and a Cabernet that belongs in every conversation about world-class interpretations of this singular varietal. Winemaker Enrique Tirado says of his vision for the wine, “Don Melchor’s style, complexity, and elegance are the extension of the perfect balance between the rocky soils in Puente Alto, the cold winds that slide down from the Andes Mountains, the generous climate of the Maipo Valley, the number of years the vines have taken to yield their best grapes, and the meticulous and caring work of the human hand.”

Set at the foot of the Andes Mountains on the northern banks of the Maipo River in the Upper Maipo Valley, 650 meters above sea level, the vineyard dates back to the mid-19th century, when the first pre-phylloxera French varieties were brought to Chile. Today, the vineyard consists of 127 hectares, divided into seven parcels, 90% of which are Cabernet Sauvignon, 7.1% are Cabernet Franc, 1.9% are Merlot, and 1% are Petit Verdot. Each parcel has been subdivided in order for very specific, detailed work that responds to the particular needs of each plant, row by row, to achieve the perfect balance with the weather characteristics of each year. The average vine age is over 30 years.

Every year, Winemaker Enrique Tirado travels to the small town of Lamarque, Bordeaux, France, to meet with renowned Bordeaux consultant Eric Boissenot, to taste approximately 150 lots from the vineyard and determine which lots, and in which proportions, will go into the new vintage of Don Melchor. Once the final blend has been defined, the new vintage of Don Melchor is transferred to French oak barrels from the Allier, Tronçois, and Nevers forests. Nearly two-thirds of the barrels are new, and the remaining third have had one prior use. After 14–15 months, the wine is bottled and aged for another year to develop the complexity and elegance that Don Melchor is known for.

98 Points - James Suckling

Very perfumed and aromatic with blackcurrant, sweet tobacco and Spanish-cedar character. Full-bodied with ultra-fine tannins that build on the palate and take the fruit and other flavours to an endless finish. More refined than the perfect 2018 and almost as compelling. Drink in 2023 or after.

96 Points - Vinous

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Don Melchor is also 5% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot and spent 15 months in 75% new French barrels. Vivid garnet in colour. The rich, complex nose presents notes of black currant, mint, and hints of balsam and ash over a bed of oak and a whiff of cedar. In the mouth, hefty volume, fine-grained tannins and a broad expression combine supported by a structure that is rather delicate for a wine of this intensity. The long-lasting finish ends with an aftertaste of fruit and mint before the oak has the final say. This will grow in the bottle.

94 Points - Wine Spectator

A standout red, offering svelte entry but quickly accelerating to a rich and well-structured state, built around never wavering flavours of black cherry, plum and baking spice, which gain dimension from fresh mineral acidity and subtle loam and bay leaf nuances. Ends with rich, well-integrated and mouth-coating tannins as well as hints of cocoa. Drink now.

93 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

There is a little more ripeness in the 2019 Don Melchor, which in warmer years shows notes of ripe plums and is subtly balsamic. The palate is round and powerful, with good balance and nice integration of the oak. As usual, there is a combination of elegance and power, with subtle mintiness and harmony.