Category Archives: Chocolate Pairing

CONCHA Y TORO GRAND RESERVA

On Febuaray 27th, 2015 I had the opportunity to have lunch with Grand Reserve head wine maker Marcio Ramirez.  Marcio explained the reasons why the Grand Reserve a riverbank series of wines were so special.   Marcio explain that the wines come from 3 very unique rivers beds Rapel, Cachapoal, and Tinguiririca which provides very distinct and different qualities to each wine.  All the Gran Reserva series wines start with the triple Marine Mediterranean advantage.

*  Areas which have a cool breeze close to the coast,

* Areas with a temperature between cold ocean air and warm air current from the valley combine to produce cooling winds.

* Ancient river banks or oil, mineral rich free draining and unfertile.

Marcio has been the wine maker at Concha Y Toro since he graduated from Universidad de Chile in 1997 degree in Oenology, he is a well-traveled and a well educated winemaker spending time in Bordeaux, Napa Valley, Mendoza, Spain St Emilion Pomerol District.   We Tasted through several of the Gran Reserva series.

The Gran Reserva series Sauvignon Blanc 2014, was well rounded on the palate with a long lingering finish.

The Gran Reserva 2013 Chardonnay was golden in color, ripe pineapple fruit, balanced acidity and just a lovely wine.

Gran Reserva 2011 Carmenere displayed a deep ruby color blackberry/ blueberry fruit with a hint of chocolate on the palate, a well structured complex wine.  Also in my opinion the best wine of the luncheon .

The Gran Reserva Malbec 2012 and 13 were deep ruby in color, the fruit comes from the river bed area Tinguiririca which is layered in red clay, I thought it was a very good expression of a very good Malbec.

Last was the Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon  2013 and 14 these wines were very young but the 2014 has signs of being a star because of its complexity and structure, finished with well rounded firm tannin.

 

Contributing editor Alyssa Alvarez, @Tipsygypsea

Concha Y Toro

Concha Y Toro Is an amazing winery, they have a wine making team for each brand of wine that they make and each team is personally responsible for the total wine making of that particular brand of wine.

Located in the upper Maipo Valley, at the foot of the Andes, and 650 meters above sea level, the Puente Alto vineyard has ideal climatic and geographical conditions for growing Cabernet Sauvignon.

A true representative of the Puente Alto vineyard is Don Melchor, the first world-class Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile. “The terroir of Puente Alto is what gives the characteristic fruit expression, elegance and tannin quality of Don Melchor”, explains Enrique Tirado, enologist of this icon.

– See more at: http://www.conchaytoro.com/web/magazine/harvest-notes-in-puente-alto/#sthash.CbVgIRsO.dpuf

Located in the upper Maipo Valley, at the foot of the Andes, and 650 meters above sea level, the Puente Alto vineyard has ideal climatic and geographical conditions for growing Cabernet Sauvignon.

A true representative of the Puente Alto vineyard is Don Melchor, a world-class Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile. “The terroir of Puente Alto is what gives the characteristic fruit expression, elegance and tannin quality of Don Melchor”, explains Enrique Tirado, head of the wine making team for Don Melchor.

During my visit I tasted through the 05, 09, the next release vintage of Melchor 2013, in the blending stage. This is the wine that Concha Y Toro wants to enter into the rare class of Cult status.  The wines that I tasted through are outstanding and if they continue to develop more innovative wine making techniques it’s very possible for their dreams to come through.

Chile’s first ultra-premium wine, is the only one with 23 vintages to its credit, all prize-winning and renowned by world critics. Don Melchor is the maximum exponent of Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon from Puente Alto, and places Chile as one of the world’s great producers of Cabernet Sauvignon.

They do make white wine at Concha Y Toro and the Amelia Chardonnay is on it’s way to becoming a world class Burgundy type Chardonnay, the best that I tasted in Chile.

Chile’s first ultra-premium wine, is the only one with 23 vintages to its credit, all prize-winning and renowned by world critics. Don Melchor is the maximum exponent of Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon from Puente Alto, and places Chile as one of the world’s great producers of Cabernet Sauvignon. – See more at: http://www.conchaytoro.com/web/our-wines/don-melchor/#sthash.Nt4cnupv.dpuf
Chile’s first ultra-premium wine, is the only one with 23 vintages to its credit, all prize-winning and renowned by world critics. Don Melchor is the maximum exponent of Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon from Puente Alto, and places Chile as one of the world’s great producers of Cabernet Sauvignon. – See more at: http://www.conchaytoro.com/web/our-wines/don-melchor/#sthash.Nt4cnupv.dpuf

 

Carmín de Peumo is Chile’s first iconic Carmenere. This is simply the best Carmenere made in the world, when I first smelled and tasted this wine all I could say was WOW this is some amazing juice. If this is what the potential of Carmenere has to offer when grown in the perfect conditions then this grape has unlimited possibilities.

 

Located in the upper Maipo Valley, at the foot of the Andes, and 650 meters above sea level, the Puente Alto vineyard has ideal climatic and geographical conditions for growing Cabernet Sauvignon.

A true representative of the Puente Alto vineyard is Don Melchor, the first world-class Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile. “The terroir of Puente Alto is what gives the characteristic fruit expression, elegance and tannin quality of Don Melchor”, explains Enrique Tirado, enologist of this icon.

– See more at: http://www.conchaytoro.com/web/magazine/harvest-notes-in-puente-alto/#sthash.CbVgIRsO.dpuf

My First Two Days in Sonoma and Napa

Sonoma and Napa Valley are two of the greatest places on earth to grow great juice. These valleys have enjoyed exceptional weather for grapes to flourish for the last 10 years, with the exception of 2011 when rain came early and during harvest. I’m reminded by a great quote from a great wine maker in Burgundy, Anne Parent ” there are no bad vintages only bad wine makers”….
>
> DAY 1: My visit began at Adobe Road tasting room in Sonoma Plaza. I had previously met Kevin Buckler (the owner of this fabulous boutique winery) ten plus years ago and his wines just keep getting better and better. We tasted through several wonderful wines, however some always stand out! The 2009 Cab Franc was truly outstanding. They don’t make a lot so it is definitely a must-buy if you can find it. The 2009 Cab from Beckstoffer Vinyards in Rutherford is a big, complex, and well balanced wine that shows the elegance of Rutherford. Adobe Road Winery is one of the hidden gems of the wine
world.
>
> As a side note, there is a little restaurant on the north side of the Plaza called the Swiss Cafe -deceptively named since we had one of the best pizzas ever! Wonderful food, great service and friendly clientele….. added bonus: you can smoke cigars out front!
>
>DAY 2 : This day started early at the ever pristine Pride Mountain where we were hosted by the fabulous Katrina. She guided us through several wines starting with their Viognier which is standing out as a star. The 2012 Cab Franc from barrel won’t be released until March 2014, but if the barrel tasting was an indicator you should get in line now to buy some. It won’t last long!
>
> Our second stop was a short (and winding!) trip down the mountain to Spring Mountain Vineyards. We were met by Valli Farelli who already had thirst quenching Sauvignon Blanc poured while she reminded us of the vastly interesting history of the vineyard. In 1873 they planted Cabernet with most of the cuttings coming from Bordeaux. We tasted the both the 2001 and 2008 Spring Mountain Cab and
although both were very French in style, there is something very special about the 2001 Cab. I had tasted this on several other occasions and was not surprised to find it as magical as I remembered. Tasting like a very good first growth from Margaux, it is still one of my top five Cabernets ever in California.
>
> The last stop of the day was Heitz cellars. Their 2007 Trailside Cabernet from Rutherford was a program of perfection: blackberry, spice box, and minerality all adding up to a very expressive finish. Another stand-out was the 2012 Rose of Grignolino, an Italian Grape that finishes dry and was very refreshing on a hot summer day.
As a side note, I can’t drive through that area without the required stop to Buster’s BBQ! It doesn’t get much better than hanging with Buster and Barbara and the dogs….. and do I need to talk about the BBQ??? P.S. They have more up their sleeves….coming soon! >  Day three and four to follow.

20130222_190208heitz20130713_132053pride