Don Melchor – Chile Cabernet

(Nov. 12, 2014) — Concha Y Toro
Cabernet Sauvignon

Let us begin with a quick multiple choice quiz: Who or what is/was Don Melchor?

a) the founder of Chile’s Concha Y Toro winery
b) the very best Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon
c) the very best Cabernet Sauvignon in the world
d) all of the above, soon.

Well now, let’s see which is the correct answer. A man named Don Melchor Concha Y Toro established a bodega in Chile in 1883, and it is now both the largest and best-known winery in Chile. Could be (a).

Several decades ago, the Concha Y Toro people decided that a reputation for very reliable quality at excellent prices was not enough; they planned to produce an ultra-premium wine and name it after their founder. The Don Melchor Vineyard comprises 127 hectares divided into 7 plots planted with a field selection of grapevines that can be traced directly back to the first vines brought from Bordeaux in the late nineteenth century before the outbreak of phylloxera in Europe. Today, these vines average 20 years old, 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7.1% Cabernet Franc, 1.9% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot. Jacques Boissenot, a French winemaker, has participated in Don Melchor since its first vintage in 1987. In 1993 Enrique Tirado joined Concha Y Toro. He was appointed head winemaker within four years, and since 1999 he has been the exclusive winemaker of Don Melchor.

The lofty ambition of the project, articulated with the 1987 release of the first vintage, was “to develop the best red wine that Chile could produce, but also to try to create the best Cabernet Sauvignon in the world.” All 24 vintages of Don Melchor have won prizes and praise from world critics. Don Melchor is the only Chilean wine that has appeared on the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of the Year six times, twice as high as fourth place. So (b) should also be the correct answer, or even (c); and if (c) then (d). Not even the superstars of Bordeaux or California have the natural advantage of growing on ungrafted vines.

If you attend the Chilean Wine Fair at the Royal Ontario Museum on October 28th, you’ll be able to sample a wide range of Cabernet Sauvignons which offer excellent value for money, but you will not taste 8 vintages of the very best. At our November tasting, Winetasters will serve the 1990, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999 (from magnum), 2002 (from magnum), 2006 and 2007 (from magnum) Don Melchor. Answer (d) was qualified by the word “soon”. Could Don Melchor be the best Cabernet Sauvignon in the world? Perhaps. Join us to find out as “soon” as November 12th.

As always with our tastings, this event will be strictly non-smoking, and we request your cooperation in not wearing any scented after-shave or perfume. Using public transit is strongly encouraged.

Date: Wednesday, November 12, 2014 North York Memorial Community Hall
Time: 6:30 p.m. 5110 Yonge St. (under library)
Limit: 88 people North York Centre Subway
Members: $75 (incl. HST) Guests: $90 (incl. HST)

Cancellations accepted up to November 7, 2014. See the event form for cancellation contact details. No reservations by phone, please. No confirmations will be issued — you will be contacted only if we are sold out. First come basis. Non-members may attend at guest rates, but preference will be given to members.

Download the event form if you wish to mail in your reservation cheque.