I don’t exactly remember where I heard the name Concha y Toro and Don Melchor, but some wine pundit was proclaiming it as a delicious wine that faced the daunting challenge of breaking into the American market. The notion was that if Don Melchor was produced in the US or France, it would retail for over $100. Instead, it was discounted to around $30 to encourage American drinkers to try a Chilean wine.
I have to imagine they’ve done a better job of marketing since their flagship Don Melchor line is now is the $50 range. They are acquiring the assets of Felzter Vineyards from Brown-Forman for $236 million including vineyards in California. They also have a 3 year partnership with the Manchester United Football Club for match day advertising and placement in VIP suites.
I expect we’ll be hearing much more from the Chilean producers so I decided to test out their wine. While tempted by the $50 Don Melchor, I opted for the middle of the pack. A relatively new label, Concha y Toro launched the Marques de Casa Concha line in 1976 in honor of the hereditary title Philip V of Spain bestowed upon the founder’s family. The wine got 90 points from both Wine Spectator and Robert Parker.
Youngtastebuds doesn’t really agree with those ratings. Yes, the wine isn’t your average Cabernet Sauvignon, but it’s not very memorable. First impressions were great; it has a great dark fruit smell. I used the Riedel Cabernet Sauvignon wine glass to make sure I got every bit of nuance…which really only went so far as dark fruit and some spice/leather…but pleasant nonetheless. Unfortunately the taste was disappointing. Tannin and alcohol dominated my sip. Fair enough – this is a young Cabernet Sauvignon. So I tried letting it breath a lot more. Sadly, I couldn’t get more out of it. It really fell flat which is seriously disappointing.
Good thing I’m a Chelsea FC Fan. Super Super Frank!