Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Marqués Casa Concha: 4 Single vineyard wines from Chile!

Founded in 1976, Marqués de Casa Concha is a premium line from Chilean producer Viña Concha y Toro, owners of iconic Don Melchor, Amelia, and best seller Casillero del Diablo brands. This line up includes several varieties, such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, a rosé based Cinsault, Merlot, Malbec, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and of course the flagship variety in Chile: Carménère Back in November, I was lucky enough to receive samples of four of these wines, that I had the pleasure to taste with the winemaker (Marcelo Papa) through a very informative zoom presentation. 
Marcelo Papa started his talk by confirming that he sources fruit from some of the best terroirs in Chile. One of these appellations is Limarí Valley, known, as one of the best regions for growing cool climate varieties. In the case of both the Chardonnay and the Pinot Noir, the fruit comes from a 65 hectare single vineyard named “Quebrada Seca”, located just 21 miles from the coast, an area very much influenced by the cool Pacific ocean and the Humboldt currents. The Marqués de Casa Concha Chardonnay 2020, was completely harvested by hand, fully whole bunch pressed and barrel fermented and aged for 12 months in second hand French oak. The result is a very fresh and mineral white, emulating the best European Chardonnays, featuring crispy acidity, fresh pear, almond and flinty notes.  The Marqués de Casa Concha Pinot Noir 2019 was completely hand harvested, partially destemmed, and vinified with a brief cold maceration and whole bunch fermentation in open tanks. This wine was aged for 11 months in French oak, of which 22% was new.  The result is a very expressive and supple red that reveals charming layers of red fruits, especially red cherry and raspberry, with a touch of licorice and very soft and delicate tannins. According to Marcelo Papa, the clay and limestone soils of the Limarí appellation provide the tension, texture and vibrancy we find in his Pinot.

The Marqués de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 features fruit from the very heart of the Maipo region, closer to the Andes’ foothills, an area that is warmer and sunnier than the Limarí, but with Alpine influences. It also features gravel and sandy soils, better to ripen Cabernet Sauvignon. 60% of the fruit of this blend comes from the Puente Alto sub-appellation, which usually yields a more muscular style of Cabernet, while the other 40% comes from the Pirque sub-appellation, yielding a more feminine and elegant style. The blend has also a tiny percentage (10%) of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot
, sourced from the Maipo too. This characterful red displays typical aromas of crème de cassis, black plums and dark cherry notes, with very sweet/ ripe tannins and fresh yet balanced acidity. So smooth and easy to drink, It was very hard for me to put it away. This wine was aged for 18 months in French oak, of which 28% was new.

And finally the Marqués de Casa Concha Carménère 2020, from the Peumo Valley, located in Rapel, just 200 km south from Santiago, the capital of Chile. Sunnier and warmer, Peumo valley is protected by hills and enjoys a mediterranean climate, influenced by the Rapel lake and the Cachapoal river. Here, Carménère enjoys one extra month of ripening (compared to the Cabernet vines in the Maipo region). This refined Carménère, like the other 3 wines, is also a single vineyard and features a small percentage (10%) of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc in its blend. So round and creamy! it showed a nose saturated with blueberry and ripe plum notes, displaying delicious dark chocolate and herbal hints too. This wine was aged for 12 months in French oak, of which 27% was new.
Widely available in the US, all four wines have a suggested retail price of $20-$25 per bottle, they are a fine example of Chilean winemaking and ideal for your Easter holiday dinner! Cheers, Silvina.

 #thoughtsoflawina #drinkchile #drinkupamerica #Marquéscasaconcha.