They had to squeeze in for the photo
They had to squeeze in for the photo

T his was our 5th virtual tasting with the Wines of Chile group. It was an interesting tasting. We had 24 tasters to help us through the event. We had a retired general, a college athletic director and even a former Baptist Minister pouring the wine. They gathered to hear and see Master Sommelier Fred Dexheimer in New Work and 8 winemakers in Chile.

As luck would have it reality trumped virtual. We had plenty of technical difficulties. The new “meeting” software used for the tasting locked up Dennis’s laptop so I had to use my laptop to handle the video conferencing. That left us without our live posting station and our Twitter station.

With one computer all I could do was use pen and paper to take notes. After fighting a Flash player problem we joined late but that didn’t seem to matter. The audio feed was so slow we hear one word every 30 seconds. (We might be able to blame this on Knology because they are famous for messing with video feeds).

Having 20 people at a tasting is something akin to herding cats. Without being able to hear which wines they were on or what was being said online the herd got restless. The Virtual tasting became a Reality tasting.

But enough of our technical woes, we wanted to taste wines.

We had been presented 8 bottles of white wine, 5 Sauvignon Blancs and 3 Chardonnays from the Chilean group. They sent us a tasting kit that allowed us to proceed without them. We had tasting notes and even recipes to pair with the wines. (The ginger shrimp were awesome and the olive oil they sent was incredible). There’s an advantage of having this many tasters. Tasters get enough to taste but no so much that by the second or third glass they don’t care what the wines tastes like.

The disadvantage is you can’t go back for more when you hit a real winner.

So, here’s what we had to say about each of the wines. You can click on the wine names and jump to info about the wines and the winery representatives who unfortunately we couldn’t hear.

But before we jump in I have to say across the board someone said “I love this wine” with every wine we tasted even when the group as a whole didn’t. Goes to show that with this broad a group all palates are covered.

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    1. Casa Silva Cool Coast Sauvignon Blanc 2011

This was our opening wine. Consistently everyone said “tastes like grapefruit”with one tasting added “a really good grapefruit. Very dry, Good legs one taster commented. We asked the group if they would give it a thumbs up or down and about 80% gave a thumbs up.

    1. Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Very dry was the first comment we heard. “Too tart” another chimed in. “Woody but more earthy wood, not oak” said another. Has grapefruit on the nose but not in the taste. The problem with have multiple wines mostly of the same varietal is you tend to compare them and starting ranking them. Those that don’t rank as high implies they are not as good. When in fact they are good, just different. When asked to give this one a thumbs up/thumbs down it was about 60% thumbs up.

    1. Cono Sur Visión Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Okay, so I said ranking wines might not be fair to a wine but we have to say that numerous tasters said this was their favorite wine of the night. Immediately they described this wine as being a traditional Sauvignon Blanc. “Smooth”, “not sweet and modestly dry,” and “I would buy this one.”

    1. Viña Casablanca Nimbus Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2011

This wine generated the most comments both good and bad. The consistent comment concerned the aftertaste which was generally unfavorable. “I think it has a peppery finish and I love pepper,” said one taster. “Strong aftertaste” said one taster while making a bad face. “Funky bite at the end”, “complex fruit forward with legs”, “grassy finish at the end” and “dry.” Although the majority didn’t like the finish of this wine one taster insisted it was their favorite.

    1. Veramonte Ritual Sauvignon Blanc 2011

One taster said they really like this wine because of what it wasn’t. “It doesn’t taste like the typical New Zealand wine. Grassy.” Cool, crisp, great food wine. Dennis prepared a chicken using a sauce recipe that had been recommended for pairing. “This is great with the chicken”, “great with goat cheese”, “no sharp edges and easy on my palate” and “okay as a sipper but better with food.” Several said this is a wine they would serve at a party, using this group as an example, it would please the majority of any group.

    1. Santa Rita Medalla Real Chardonnay

This was the first Chardonnay of the evening. After tasting 5 crisp, dry Sauv Blancs they were ready for something different. People struggled to describe this wine. “Muddy” was one comment. Hints of tobacco said some but not on first taste. Some said it was buttery on the finish. “Butterscotch” someone chimed in with. Two tasters said the crispness “made their mouth ‘click’.” After a puzzled look they explained “You know the African dialect that uses clicks as part of their speech? Well this wine makes our mouths click.”

    1. De Martino Legado Reserva Chardonnay 2010

This one grabbed some attention immediately. “Butter…. no organic butter… no unsalted organic butter ” was one comment. One taster started pointing out this wine improved as it warmed up. Serving it too cold would be bad. We had been warned to pour the Chards 15 minutes prior to tasting and the Sauvignon Blancs 10 minutes. We opened all the wines early. But I think that with white wines most drinkers are too impatient to let a wine to breath. Face it, most American wine drinkers view white wines as more of a dinner party wine for sipping while chit-chatting. This wine was great with shrimp. Some said this was their second favorite of the evening. Many were ready to write this one off until someone said to let it warm and to swirl. This wine went from people with scrunched faces to smiles after it warmed up.

    1. Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Chardonnay 2009

“Balanced, lots of fruit.” This was the most balanced of the Chardonnays. One taster said it was a nice Chard without the oak. When told this Chardonnay spends 12 months in French Oak he was amazed. Only one taster said that he could taste the oak and commented he really liked this wine the best which for him was a complement because he doesn’t normally like Chardonnay. Maybe the lack of a buttery feel threw them off on not detecting the oak. Sharp and crisp was the last comment we heard. And after an evening of whites we opened some Turley Zin and Turley Cinsault.

This is the Virtual Screen... when it was working
This is the Virtual Screen... when it was working

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Here are the detailed wine notes:
Casa Silva Cool Coast Sauvignon Blanc 2011
The nose has intense aromas of fresh pineapple and citrus. The palate is refreshing acidity and minerality with a very
elegant and long finish.

Here are some interesting notes about their production process:
-Grapes cooled down below 41°F upon arrival at the winery.
– Hand sorting of bunches before press to select only the best grapes
– Crushing of whole bunches and immediate juice separation without maceration
– Alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel tanks for 24 days at 55°F
From: Colchagua Valley, Chile
Winery: Casa Silva
– In 1892, Mr. Emilio Bouchon, a French oenologist, first arrived in Chile. Shortly after, his children took over the running of the vineyards, some of which are nearly a hundred years old today and continue to be the source of excellent wines. With the passing of the years, and for different reasons, the family’s old vines were divided up amongst different owners, some of whom were members of the family.

It was in 1977 that Mario Silva, married to Maria Teresa Silva Bouchon, began recovering the land on which the old vines were planted. A dentist by profession, he decided to immerse himself in his life-long passions: land and wine.

Slowly but surely, Mario Silva recovered for the family what was once theirs, and Angostura was restored to the condition in which it was originally intended, albeit with latter day farming techniques.

At the beginning of 1997, Mario Pablo Silva, Mario Silva’s eldest son, proposed that he transform the bulk business to a bottling enterprise, exporting fine wines with brands of their own. Mario Silva accepted the proposal on the condition that Mario Pablo, a commercial engineer by profession, run the project. Mario Pablo accepted the challenge and moved with his family within a few miles of the cellar and land, organizing the new offices on-site at the winery. The Casa Silva brand was created and the overhauling of the cellar and land began.

That same year, the beginnings of a worldwide distribution base were founded. Mario Pablo’s brothers joined the company: Gonzalo in Agriculture, a position which would later lead him to successfully run the three estates, and Francisco in Public Relations, a welcomed addition who immediately put Viña Casa Silva on the map, as far as the local market was concerned. A family board was also established, including Mario Pablo’s father, mother, two brothers and two external consultants. Finally, life as an export company of fine bottled wines was underway for Viña Casa Silva. Attention to detail backed by a strong work ethic and constant innovation have transformed Casa Silva into one of the principal Chilean wineries supplying premium wines. Casa Silva has achieved international recognition which has lead it to become one of Chile’s most highly awarded wineries, and perhaps the most highly awarded winery in recent years.
Winemaker: Arnaud Frennet –Viña Casa Silva S.A. – Commercial Manager Frennet, joined Viña Casa Silva in 2003 and quickly ascended to his current position in the company.

Born and raised in Belgium, his passion for wine began as an evolution of his family’s agricultural background and relationship with Trappist culture.

Passionate about watersports, he interrupted his Agronomics studies to fully focus on his sporting career in 1994. After several years travelling the world for sport, he met his future wife; a Chilean girl, and settled in her country.

In 2003, after some years working in advertising and international trade, he joined Viña Casa Silva. Passionate about agriculture, wine and travelling, he found himself in his dream position when he was appointed Commercial Manager in 2006. Now responsible for the entire commercial department, he oversees the global sales and marketing of the company.

Since 2010 he has been a permanent member of the International Council of Wines of Chile, the country’s Wine Industry trade association.
Cost: $25 SRP
Year: 2011
Grapes: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc 2011
The color is pale yellow with green hints. The nose has lime, white peach, pear, pineapple, green apple and
fine chive notes. The palate has a fresh mouthfeel with good body and persistence.

Here are some interesting notes about their production process:
– Fruit is sorted before being chilled and then macerated for a few hours
– Pressed to obtain juice, which is fermented at low temperatures
– Alcoholic fermentation takes place in stainless steel vats under controlled temperatures between 54°-57°F
From: Casablanca Valley, Chile
Winery: Los Vascos
– In the mid-nineteenth century, two of the leading Chilean wine producers brought vines from Bordeaux to improve the quality of the original vineyard at Los Vascos. In the late nineteenth century, Chile’s natural geographic frontiers protected it from the phylloxera epidemic. This has resulted in an unbroken line of wine stock at Los Vascos, which now produces some of the finest wines in all of Chile.

The acquisition of Los Vascos by Les Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) in 1988 was the result of a careful search among more than 100 Chilean wines for one that could meet the Rothschild criteria for excellence. Los Vascos was chosen after careful review of existing vineyards, soils and climates and was the first French viticultural investment in modern Chile. Since then, a comprehensive modernization and investment program has been undertaken, orientated towards the production of fine wine using and adapting the viticultural experiences of Bordeaux and other areas where the group is present.

Los Vascos is located in Colchagua Valley, a closed valley in the center of Chile. The Valley provides a perfect microclimate for high quality viticulture; intense exposure to the sun, adequate water sources, semi-arid soils and little risk of frost, and only about 25 miles from the sea. The estate is over 5,436 contiguous acres, with the majority planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (85%), Carmenere (5%), Chardonnay (5%), Syrah (4%) and Chardonnay (1%). Los Vascos is the largest vineyard in central Colchagua Valley at the foot of Mount Canteen and can easily maintain its “Estate Bottled” status regardless of production requirements.
Winemaker: Claudio Naranjo — General Manager, for Los Vascos winery. (He was added to the presentation at the last minute so he biography wasn’t available.
Cost: $13.99 SRP
Year: 2011
Grapes: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Cono Sur Visión Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2011
The color is yellow-green. The nose is peaches, green apples, grapefruit and white flowers. The palate is crisp and balanced with a pleasant minerality.

Here are some interesting notes about their production process:
–5 months in stainless steel tanks.
From: Casablanca Valley, Chile
Winery: Cono Sur
– Cono Sur Vineyards & Winery was founded in 1993, with the vision of producing premium, expressive and innovative wines conveying the spirit of the New World. Our name refers to the company’s geographic position; it represents wines proudly made in South America’s Southern Cone, on whose western edge lies Chile and its gifted wine valleys. Our logo also evokes a freehand drawing of the silhouette of South America.

Our quest is to present the world with the finest grape expression and character from Chile’s varied wine regions. Right from the start, Cono Sur applied the newest ideas and technology to winemaking’s traditional methods. Our main goal, therefore, is to create expressive and innovative wines from one of the world’s southernmost wine regions.
Winemaker: Matías Ríos Langevin. — Agriculture Engineer and Winemaker.

Matías Ríos Langevin studied Agricultural Engineering at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, where he specialized in viticulture and winemaking. He graduated in 1999 and in October 2000, he was accredited by the Chilean Association of Oenologists.

He began his career at Viña Carmen and Viña San Pedro, two important companies in the Chilean wine industry, for which he worked in the Limarí and Curicó valleys. During this period, Langevin acquired extensive viticultural experience, especially with varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Chardonnay.

In 2003, Cono Sur recruited Langevin to strengthen its agricultural and winemaking team. Since then, he has taken on important responsibilities, particularly in finding the best terroirs, making sure that each vineyard receives the right management, defining the precise harvesting moment, producing the wines along with the rest of the winemaking team and contributing a unique personality to each one of them. Langevin has also been part of both sustainable and organic programs, where he has done remarkable work.
Cost: $14.99 SRP
Year: 2011
Grapes: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Viña Casablanca Nimbus Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2011
The color is straw yellow. The nose is minerality and dried lemons. The palate has firm acidity with notes of thyme and lime, and a lingering finish of tart apple.

Here are interesting notes about their vinification:
– Hand-harvested grapes
– Cold maceration for four hours at 50°F
– Fermented in stainless steel tanks with selected yeast at 56°F for three weeks
– Battonage process for one month to achieve a smooth texture

From: Casablanca Valley, Chile
Winery: Viña Casablanca
– Casablanca Valley is located on the road to the Pacific Ocean from Santiago. Visitors making the trip from the capital, however, must be patient in finding the Viña Santa Carolina vineyards, passing miles and miles of vines before reaching the property. In fact, the Santa Carolina estate, Santa Isabel, is the westernmost of all the Casablanca Valley vineyards, appearing just before the highway glides through a final ridge of coastal hills down to Valparaiso and Viña del Mar.

A mere 12 miles from the ocean, Santa Isabel is a shared estate vineyard for Viña Santa Carolina and its sister winery Viña Casablanca. Being so close to the ocean, climate is Casablanca Valley’s primary distinguishing characteristic. The hills to the west are hardly high enough to protect the valley from morning fog and ocean breezes. The Pacific Ocean off Chile’s central coast is cold, its waters fed by the Humboldt Current, so those breezes almost always moderate the warm valley temperatures. Rainfall in the region averages between 15 and 18 inches per year, making irrigation a necessity. Unlike other Chilean winegrowing regions, however, no river runs through the valley, forcing growers to dig wells for scarce water and to carefully monitor their drip irrigation.

These factors, combined with somewhat sandy and shallow soils, result in low yields of grapes that often are among the last to be picked in Chile, as much as 30 days after the Maipo Valley, in fact. White wines from these grapes have well-developed flavors and wonderful aromas held together by firm natural acidity. Reds are grown on the warmer, sun-exposed hillsides.

Wines that come from this valley include Nimbus Pinot Noir, Nimbus Sauvignon Blanc, Nimbus Syrah, Santa Carolina Reserva Chardonnay and Santa Carolina Reserva de Familia Chardonnay.
Winemaker: Ximena Pacheco. — Viña Casablanca Winemaker. After years of traveling and experiencing both Old and New World approaches to wine production, Ximena Pacheco assumed the responsibility of lead winemaker of Viña Casablanca, the boutique winery of Carolina Wine Brands.

It was a natural progression for Pacheco to become the leader of a micro-management and micro-terroiroriented winery. “I am a detail freak, a perfectionist and a wine lover,” says Pacheco. During her career, she has always been involved in premium wine projects, and she has learned from the best, developing projects with Paul Hobbs in Hungary and Napa Valley, and with Aurelio Montes in both Chile and Mendoza, among others.

“What we take into the fermentation tanks is the result of what we have done during the year in the vineyard,” she explains.

Understanding soil, climate and plant behavior is vital for the winemaking process. “I completed my studies in agronomy and biology before majoring in oenology.” Located 20 km from the port of Valparaíso, the proximity to the Pacific Ocean is a defining element of the Casablanca Valley appellation, a cool climate region. “In our Santa Isabel Estate, we take care of every detail: we vinify lots separately, we identify each sector and analyze the soils and exposure, waiting for the perfect ripeness of the fruit and the maturity of each bunch in order to produce blends with the best of our vineyard, aiming to fully express the Casablanca terroir with elegance and complexity,” explains Pacheco.

For Pacheco, Viña Casablanca means a step forward in her winemaking; she is applying all of her passion and experience, bringing her dreams to fruition in terms of premium wine production.
Cost: $12.99 SRP
Year: 2011
Grapes: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Veramonte Ritual Sauvignon Blanc 2011
The color is bright straw and green hues. The nose is ripe passion fruit and pineapple with subtle floral notes. The palate has fresh fruit flavors with high acidity and complexity.

Here are some interesting notes about their production process:
– Only the best fruit harvested from two of our finest vineyards – Mauco and Gloria
– Fermentation takes about 22 days at low temperatures
– Wine kept on yeast lees for five months.
From: Casablanca Valley, Chile
Winery: Veramonte
– In 1990, Agustin Huneeus chose the Casablanca Valley as the site for Veramonte recognizing that the microclimates and soils of this beautiful valley are similar to California’s prestigious Napa Valley and Carneros winegrowing regions.

The winery at Veramonte is a state-of-the-art, modern winemaking facility designed by one of Chile’s foremost leading architects, Jorge Swinburn.

Opened in 1998, the winery includes the latest technology in bottling lines, gravity-fed fermentors and ultra-modern stainless steel tanks. It is also designed for small-lot winemaking, allowing separate fermentation and aging of individual vineyard blocks and experimental vineyard plots.

When guests enter the winery they are welcomed to the “Casona,” a breathtaking room with a soaring rotunda, ceilings and glass walls which reveal the barrel caves below. Tours and tastings, available seven days a week, include pairings with Veramonte wines and local cheeses or artisan chocolates.

Veramonte’s Casablanca estate totals 11,000 acres, of which nearly 1,000 are currently planted. Varietal plantings have been matched with the proper rootstock and clones for the estate’s varied terrain and diverse microclimates. Vertical trellising and dense vine spacing has been implemented to balance growth and control vine vigor.

Veramonte was first introduced in 1996, and has since earned international critical acclaim for its wines. Today, Veramonte utilizes sustainable and organic farming practices, along with the latest viticultural advances to produce the highest quality grapes possible.

Vineyards are managed with yields by dropping crop, controlling irrigation and experimenting with different pruning and canopy management techniques to maximize maturity and ripeness in the grapes. All of this attention to detail yields wines with intense flavor, definition and concentration.
Cost: $18 SRP
Year: 2011
Grapes: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Santa Rita Medalla Real Chardonnay
The color is deep, greenish-yellow. The nose has an intense bouquet that combines mineral notes with light citrus, nectartines, nuts and a touch of oak. The palate has refreshing acidity that balances nicely with the wine’s fruitiness, good weight, silky texture and length.

Here are some interesting notes about their production process:
-Grapes are crushed prior to pressing.
-Juice is cold decanted for 12 hours and then racked of the coarse lees for a must with a high level of turbicity.
-Must is inoculated with selected yeasts and immediately transferred to oak barrels to ferment.
-Once fermentation is complete, the wine remains in the barrels for eight months with weekly battonage.
From: Leyda Valley, Chile
Winery: Santa Rita
– In 1880, a distinguished entrepreneur of those times, Mr. Domingo Fernández Concha, founded Viña Santa Rita in the same area of Alto Jahuel where its main facilities are currently located.

In 1980 Santa Rita was acquired by the Claro Group, one of Chile’s most important economic holdings.

Currently, Viña Santa Rita is one of Chile’s most enterprising and quality-focused producers. In 2010, Santa Rita was chosen Winery of the Year for 10th time by the influential Wine and Spirits magazine.

Santa Rita exports 1.3 million cases of wine per year to more than 70 countries around the world, making it one of the three largest wine producers in Chile.

It has a long and illustrious history stretching back over 120 years to the early days of Chilean winemaking, and today owns more than 3,200 hectares of outstanding vineyards in Chile’s most important wine growing regions. Santa Rita, with its ongoing focus on terroir, innovation, and brand development, works with its highly experienced winemakers to produce wines that are consistently delicious, distinctive and authentically unique.
Winemaker: Tomas Vial — Vial joined the group of Santa Rita winemakers in January 2012.

He has great experience in viticulture and winemaking and brings a global perspective to the team. His passion for the wine world brought him to study Agronomy and Oenology at the Catholic University of Chile. Once he was finished with his studies in 2003, he worked the harvest at the Franciscan Estates Winery in California. Back in Chile, he decided to become an expert on terroir, and collaborated with the distinguished viticulture consultant, Eduardo Silva at SIASA Ltd as a technical assistant. They worked together as consultants for almost three years in integrated vineyard management from the fourth to the seventh regions in Chile. In 2006, he moved to Spain where he worked at the Borsao Wine Cellars. From 2007 to 2010 he worked at two Chilean vineyards, Koyle and Luis Felipe Edwards, before joining Carmen winery.

For Vial, Santa Rita is an innovative vineyard that is constantly looking for new and unique terroir for highquality grapes, which motivates him to be a part of this team.

Conscious about the fact that the quality of a wine mainly depends on the way a vineyard is managed, he has dedicated himself to studying and learning about a large diversity of soils, ideal climate conditions for each variety and has participated in nursery development, grapevine clonal selection, plantation projects and specific forms of management for each variety and quality of wine.
Cost: $17.99 SRP
Grapes: 100% Chardonnay
De Martino Legado Reserva Chardonnay 2010
The nose is austere, complex with mineral and citrus notes. The palate is fresh with good volume and acidity.

Here are some interesting notes about their production process:
-The grapes were pressed before fermentation with high lees content and storage in French oak barrels
– Bentonite (fine clay) was used during clarification to give the wine protein stability
– The wine was aged for 11 months in French oak barrels
– Bottling is done in lightweight bottles made from recycled material

From: Limari Valley, Chile
Winery: De Martino
– Chile has one of the best and most diverse conditions for wine producing in the world. De Martino ́s challenge has been to create wines that are a true reflection of their origin and show Chile ́s unique diversity. To do so, the winemaking team constantly travels from north to south and from the coast to the Andes, seeking out the most incredible places for producing wines with tremendous personality. Reinventing Chile represents De Martino ́s vision, and the primary objective of this innovative focus on production is to show that Chile has the potential to produce world-class wines.

Our winemakers have traveled around Chile from north to south for the past 14 years in search of the best terroir for each of the grape varieties that we work with. We have vinified grapes from more than 350 different vineyards, and as a result we have obtained the best spots in the country to produce wines of special character, which is expressed in all the De Martino ranges. Our winemakers are backed by a team of expert consultants that includes geologists and viticulturists.
Winemaker: Marcelo Retamal — Head Winemaker of Viña De Martino (Chile) Retamal is considered by many to be one of the most highly regarded and distinguished winemakers of his generation. Renowned for his constant and passionate hard work, his tireless search for something new and exciting, and his relaxed outlook on life, he most definitely stands out from his peers.

Having studied Agronomy at the University of Concepción, with a specialization in Oenology, he graduated in 1996, and was employed immediately by Viña De Martino in the Maipo Valley, where he has worked ever since. He was the main protagonist when he and the rest of the Viña De Martino winemaking team launched the first ever wine to be produced, labeled and exported as Carmenere. Ever since that landmark day his consummate passion for this unique grape variety has never dwindled, and for that reason, his Single Vineyard Carmenere has been chosen as Chile’s best for two years in the Chilean Wine Guide. This constant striving for perfection and differentiation has made the main focus of his work, in the past 15 years, a “Terroir Project” which is unrivalled in Chile and which has lead him to investigate and find the most appropriate places to grow particular varieties in Chile.

He has made wines in over 350 vineyards the length and breadth of the Chile, many of which are unique in their field, with amazing personality and unerring quality. At the same time, he has traveled extensively around the globe to broaden his knowledge of the world’s vineyards and winemaking practices, and to perfect his know-how of the international wine business.
Cost: $15.99 SRP
Year: 2010
Grapes: 100% Chardonnay
Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Chardonnay 2009
The color is light yellow. The nose is white pear, mineral notes and toasty hazelnut. The palate is deeply concentrated with silky texture and layers of ripe, opulent fig, pear and mineral flavors. It finishes with a long and vibrant character.

Here are some interesting notes about their production process:
–12 months in French oak barrels
From: Limari Valley, Chile
Winery: Concha y Toro
– Concha y Toro is the symbol of Chilean wine in the world and occupies an outstanding position among the world’s most important wineries. With consolidated sales in 2010 of $735 million USD and more than 29.2 million cases sold, Concha y Toro proves the strength of its international leadership with a presence in more than 135 countries.

Its successful history of almost 130 years has been recognized by the world’s most prestigious publications, with sixteen honors as “Vineyard of the Year” in Wine & Spirits; the title of “Second most powerful wine brand in the world,” according to The Power 100 of Intangible Business; and extraordinary scores for its wines in specialized media such as Wine Spectator and The Wine Advocate.

The development of a broad portfolio of wines enables the company to participate in different market categories and respond favorably to consumer trends. The business strategy has been to strengthen the premium wine segment, for which it has a solid base with the Casillero del Diablo brand, now projected tosuperior levels with consolidated brands which today are benchmarks for their quality and consistency, like Don Melchor, the Terrunyo line and Marqués de Casa Concha, among others.

At the same time, the company has promoted the growth of winery subsidiaries, opening up new distribution channels and attracting new consumers through its novel and differentiating wine offerings. The principal subsidiaries are Viña Cono Sur, Viña Maipo, Viña Palo Alto, Viña Maycas del Limarí, Trivento Bodegas y Viñedos, which operates in Argentina, and the Joint Venture with the prestigious winery, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, which produces the Almaviva brand.
Winemaker: Winemaker Marcelo Papa has enjoyed a distinguished career at Viña Concha y Toro. For ten years he has been in charge of perhaps the most famous and traditional wine range in the Super Premium segment, not just at the Company, but also in Chile.

From the moment the passionate winemaker took charge of Marques de Casa Concha in 1999, his vitality prompted a renaissance in the brand—without compromising its classical style—and achieved precisely what the Chilean wine industry needed: modern wines full of character that could open foreign markets for Chilean ultrapremium offerings.

Marcelo Papa and his incorporation of better viticulture and winemaking techniques has had a significant impact on the quality of Marques de Casa Concha, turning it into the highly coveted wine it is today. Its classical style aims to extract the highest concentration and the finest character from traditional vineyard-produced grapes.

His wines, always over the 90-point mark, have attracted numerous domestic and international awards that attest to remarkable winemaking and the tremendous praise Concha y Toro earns.

Marcelo Papa is a precise yet restless winemaker whose passion and drive won him the 2004 Winemaker of the Year Award from one of the country’s most prestigious publications, the Chilean Wine Guide.
Cost: $19 SRP
Year: 2009
Grapes: 100% Chardonnay

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