T here may have been a full moon outside, but Friday night the stars of the Southern Hemisphere were inside Wine World.
John Boshart, of Excelsior Wines, brought 10 wines from Concha y Toro’s more prestigious series, including Marques de Casa Concho, Concha y Toro Gran Reserva, Terrunyo, and two Trivento wines (CyT’s Argentine project).
The wonderful evening ended with a rock star wine, Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon,
one of Chile’s most highly regarded wines. Two of the wines were from Argentina, but the focus was on Chile.
Nearly all the wines were rated 90 points or more. It was an evening of truly outstanding wines!
Boshart is District Manager for North Carolina & South Carolina for Excelsior Wines, an affiliate of Concha y Toro and Banfi Vintners. John has earned the Certified Specialist of Wine from the Society of Wine Educators and has also passed the Court of Master Sommeliers introductory course. He kept the large crowd entertained while giving them a good education about wines from Chile, a history of Concha y Toro and good descriptions of the climate and terroir of the many wine regions in Chile. He even awarded prizes to lucky wine drinkers who correctly answered three quiz questions at the end.
Chile lies roughly between 30 and 40 degrees latitude while Napa Valley is at 36 degrees. There are other similarities, such as nearby mountains and a coastal climate featuring cooling sea breezes. It’s easy to see why both areas can produce such great wines.
Concha y Toro was founded in 1883 by Don Melchor. It was one of the first Chilean wines to make inroads in the American market, gaining a reputation for very good wines at low prices. The company still produces those wines, but Boshart said they want to be known for their quality. Many vineyards have been ripped out and replanted. “They’re finding the right places to grow these grapes,” he explained.
He said Concha y Toro has won the greatest number of 90-point ratings in Chile, beating all the other Chilean wines combined.
When: Friday, August 17, 2012, 7pm.
Cost: $15 prepaid. $20 at the door if space is available. Reservations suggested as space will be limited.
Here are the wines presented (click to see more):
- Trivento Torrontes “Amado Sur” 2011
- Marques de Casa Concha Chardonnay 2010
- Terrunyo Sauvignon Blanc 2010
- Concha y Toro Merlot Gran Reserva 2009
- Concha y Toro Malbec Gran Reserva 2010
- Marques de Casa Concha Carmenere 2010
- Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
- Trivento Malbec “Golden Reserve” 2009
- Terrunyo Carmenere 2009
- Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Here are the detailed wine notes:
Trivento Torrontes “Amado Sur” 2011
Tasting notes: This delightful blend is 75% Torrontes, 15% Viognier and 10% Chardonnay. It had a flowery nose and was a beautiful pale straw color. It has some backbone and nice acidity, with a slight peach taste. It would go well with spicy food, sushi, shellfish or a salad. Amado Sur means “love of the South.”
Marques de Casa Concha Chardonnay 2010
Winery: Marques de Casa Concha
Tasting notes: The wine is a bright yellow, with a mild aroma of figs. It’s a clean, bright wine with some acidity on the back end and good mid-palate tropical fruit flavors. It’s a full-bodied wine with mineral notes and a crisp finish. The wine is aged “sur lie,” which means it’s aged with the yeast in French oak barrels for 11 months.
Tasting notes: A crisp, clean wine, it has mineral aromas and tastes. Terrunyo is the Spanish word for terroir, and this line of wines pays special attention to the terroir of each wine. This is from the Casa Blanca region, a great area for Sauvignon Blanc. The winemaker picks grapes from select blocs to make the best wine. It has a huge nose, full of minerals and lime. The taste is austere, with notes of lime, grapefruit and minerals. It finishes with good acidity. It would pair well with seafood, shellfish and sushi.
Concha y Toro Merlot Gran Reserva 2009
From: Rapel Valley, Chile
Winery: Concha y Toro
Tasting notes: This is an Old World-style Merlot, with good balance and restrained fruit. It has a fresh aroma of black fruit with rich, elegant flavors and a nice mouthfeel. The finish is long and smooth. This blend of 95% Merlot and 5% Syrah spent 12-14 months in French and American oak barrels. The Gran Reserva line of wines all come from along riverbanks. Boshart said the wines have a freshness the winemakers weren’t expecting.
Concha y Toro Malbec Gran Reserva 2010
From: Rapel Valley, Chile
Winery: Concha y Toro
Tasting notes: Though Malbec is associated primarily with Argentina, the Chilean winemakers produce it in a different style. It is more restrained, less fruit-forward, much like the French style. It is a beautiful deep red color in the glass with powerful aromas of plum and chocolate. The rich taste is full of black fruit flavors and soft tannins. It has a long finish that hits the back of your mouth. The wine really needs food to come alive. It would be good with firm cheeses, steak and lamb. The wine spends 13 months in French and American oak barrels. Boshart said the Malbec is the most popular wine in the Gran Reserva series.
Marques de Casa Concha Carmenere 2010
Winery: Marques de Casa Concha
Tasting notes: The wine is a deep red in the glass with intense black fruit aromas and a hint of black pepper. Blackberry and chocolate flavors dominate, with concentrated fruit in the mid-palate. Balanced acid gives it a strong finish. The grapes get a lot of special handling with this wine. They are hand harvested and fermented in stainless steel tanks and macerated for 20 days after fermentation. The wine spends 18 months in new and used French oak barrels. It would pair well with roast beef or pork, aged cheeses and robust pastas.
Tasting notes: This is a very dry Cabernet, showing a hint of what Chileans call the “Maipo mint.” They say Cabernet from the outstanding Maipo region often displays a hint of mint or eucalyptus. This wine definitely followed that pattern. There are no harsh tannins, with a good depth at the back end. Fruit flavors are concentrated, leaving a long, smooth finish. Boshart said this is often called a “baby Don Melchor” because of the similarities to that renowned wine. It is grown in a vineyard adjacent to Don Melchor. The wine is aged for 18 months in new and used French oak barrels.
Tasting notes: Boshart called this a friendly style of Malbec, a wine to drink if you are used to Cabernet and want to branch out a little. It’s a great warm, round wine with w velvety mouthfeel. It has elegant and powerful dark fruit flavors, especially black cherry and blackberry. The grapes come from a single vineyard in Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza. The grapes are hand picked and aged in French oak barrels for 12 months. The wine spends an additional 12 months in bottles before it is released. Trivento means “three winds.” The winds are Polar (the cold winds that blow in winter, shutting down the vines), Zonda (the hot wind rushing down from the West that wakes up the vines in Spring) and Sudestada (the wind that draws in from the ocean on the East, bringing a fresh yet humid feel to the vines in Summer).
Terrunyo Carmenere 2009
Tasting notes: Aromas of ripe red berries and plum with some spice jump out of the glass, followed by concentrated fruit flavors of plum and berries. It has a smooth, lingering finish. The grapes are harvested by hand and single berries are selected. The wine is aged in new and used French oak barrels for 18 months followed by an additional four months in the bottle. The wine is 87% Carmenere, 11% Cabernet Sauignon and 2% Cabernet Franc.
Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Winery: Don Melchor
Tasting notes: This was an incredible wine. At five years from harvest, the wine has mellowed and offers smooth, luscious fruit flavors with silky tannins. It has a rich bouquet of black cherry and plum with tastes of red fruit in a full-bodied wine that doesn’t overpower you. It’s silky and elegant with a long, juicy finish. This 20th vintage of Don Melchor is perfect for drinking now, but might last another few years. The vines were planted in 1979 and the grapes are picked by hand. After fermentation the wine is aged in French oak for 16 months, followed by another 12 months in the bottle. It would pair well with hearty meats, especially lamb or steak.