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Featured Reviews

Concha y Toro ‘Casillero del Diablo’ and ‘Marques Casa Concha’ Reds

06 April,2017
Established in 1883 by Don Melchor Concha y Toro, the Chilean wine industry giant Conch yToro is one of the most respected wine producers in the world with a broad and diverse range of wines that show the modern face of Chile. As with every producer with a venerable history, there are many tales and legends that have developed over time. The ‘Casillero de Diablo’ brand is named after the founder’s cellar where he said the Devil resided, to scare away possible thieves. The wines are varietal and style expressive created to offer value. The ‘Marques de Casa Cocha’ range refers to the title conferred upon the Concha y Toro family by King Felipe V of Spain, and are limited production wines from estate vineyards. Here, I review a selection of newly released reds under these two tiers. The wines are distributed in New Zealand by EuroVintage.


Concha y Toro ‘Casillero del Diablo’ ‘Reserva’ Carmenere 2015

Other Red from Chile

Dark, deep, near impenetrable black-red colour with youthful purple hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is elegantly proportioned with a firm and tight core of blackcurrant fruit entwined with savoury dark herbs unfolding some leafy elements. Medium-full bodied, the palate features a firm heart with bright and vibrant fruit flavours of blackcurrants and savoury dark herbs along with light leafy and stalk notes. The fruit is moderately concentrated and underlined by fine, grainy tannins with fresh acidity providing a bright and lively mouthfeel. The flavours lead to an elegant, slender finish of blackcurrants and herbs. This is a firm and finely concentrated Carmenere with fine tannin grip and a fresh mouthfeel. Serve with herb-marinated lamb and beef dishes over the next 3+ years. Fruit from the Central Valley fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged in oak barrels. 16.5/20 Apr 2017 RRP $18.99

Concha y Toro ‘Marques Casa Concha’ Peumo Carmenere 2015

Other Red from Chile

Saturated black-red colour with youthful purple hues. The nose is full with initially stylishly restrained aromas that unfold to show deeply concentrated ripe blackberry fruit with cassis notes, along with blackberries and subtle notes of dark herbs and fine pencilly oak elements. Medium-full bodied, the palate is rich and vibrant with flavours of ripe blackcurrants and blackberries, along with notes of cassis liqueur, unfolding nuances of savoury herbs. The fruit forms a deep and well-concentrated core which is supported by considerable fine-grained tannin extraction. The mouthfeel is enlivened by fresh, lacy acidity and the wine carries with good power and drive to a long and sustained finish of blackcurrants. This is a rich blackcurrant and blackberry fruited Carmenere with fine structure, concentration and a fresh mouthfeel. Match with roast lamb and beef dishes over the next 7-9 years. A blend of 90% Carmenere and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon from Peumo, Cachapoal Valley, vines planted 1994-1996, fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 16 months in French oak barrels. 18.5/20 Apr 2017 RRP $31.99

Concha y Toro ‘Marques Casa Concha’ Maipo Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile

Full, impenetrable black-red colour with youthful purple hues. This has a softly full nose with moderately deep and concentrated aromas of blackcurrants, blackberries and cassis liqueur along with dark herb and black mineral elements and earthy nuances. The fruit grows in clarity with aeration. Full-bodied, the palate possesses a well-concentrated and deep heart of rich blackcurrant and blackberry fruit along with dark herb and leafy notes. The fruit richness is encased by fine, grainy tannin structure and cut by fresh, crisp acidity. The palate has grip, body and presence, and carries to a strong, robust and brisk finish of blackcurrants and cassis. Match with roasted red meats and semi-hard cheeses over the next 7-10 years. A blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc and 1% each of Merlot and Syrah from the ‘Puente Alto’ and ‘Pirque’ vineyards, Maipo, from vines planted 1986-2008, fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 16 months in French oak barrels and foudre. 18.0/20 Apr 2017 RRP $31.99

Concha y Toro ‘Marques Casa Concha’ Maule Merlot 2014

Merlot from Chile

Full, impenetrable black-hued ruby-red colour with slight purple hues on the edge. The bouquet is full and softly presented with aromas of dark-red plums, redcurrants and dark herbs, revealing some leafiness, melded with a layering of spicy, cedary oak. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich and luscious fruit flavours of dark plums, red and blackcurrants and dark herbs, with spicy, cedary oak detail. The fruit is underlined by fine, grainy tannin extraction and the palate shows some alcoholic drive and power. The acidity is integrated, lending a roundness to the mouthfeel, and the wine leads to a dry-textured finish of blackcurrants and cedary oak. This is a fulsome Merlot with sweet plum, red and blackcurrant flavours on a well-textured palate with good drive and a dry finish. Match with casseroles and slow-cooked game meat dishes over the next 7-9 years. A blend of 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Sauvignon from the ‘San Clemente’ vineyard, Maule, vines planted 1990-1998, fermented to 14.3% alc., the wine aged 18 months predominantly in French oak barrels and a small portion in foudre. 17.5+/20 Apr 2017 RRP $31.99
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