A Cabernet Sauvignon of refinement and elegant character, Don Melchor was the first Chilean wine to be named to Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of the World in 1988, where it has since placed nine times, including three placements in the Top 10. The new release of 2018 Don Melchor has accomplished an even greater feat, as one of the few wines to receive a perfect 100-point score from global wine critic, James Suckling. If you’re a Cabernet Sauvignon lover, this is a vintage you will not want to miss out on.
Like all fine things worth waiting for, Don Melchor is exquisitely crafted by a team that spares no attention to detail. Don Melchor is a lifelong obsession for winemaker Enrique Tirado, who has cared for the estate at Puente Alto for over 20 years. “Don Melchor is the constant quest for the best expression of every vine in the vineyard, so as to capture the beauty of the balance of the Puente Alto terroir,” Tirado shares. Situated at over 2,100 feet with a breathtaking view of the Andes Mountains, Puente Alto’s distinctive soils and cool climate are essential to the character of the wine, allowing the tannins, color and aromas in this collector’s Cabernet Sauvignon to ripen to perfection.
Don Melchor is sourced from 7 parcels in Puente Alto Vineyard, each subdivided and independently hand-harvested to support over 150 micro-vinifications in the cellar. In the tradition of first growth Bordeaux, Don Melchor practices an artful blending process. Tirado tastes every parcel with expert blender Eric Boissenot to determine the final composition of the vintage. The outstanding growing conditions of the 2018 vintage provided Tirado and Boissenot with exceptional raw materials “to paint in many colors.” 2018 Don Melchor constitutes a rare release composed of all four Bordeaux varieties planted in Puente Alto, for a perfectly balanced blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot.
“We call our approach the ‘Beauty of the Composition’ to capture the artistry that defines each vintage,” explains Tirado. “When we start working on the blend, we have not one expression but hundreds of micro-vinifications to consider that collectively represent the distinct flavors, aromas, textures and color variations of our terroir. Creating the final assemblage of Don Melchor is like painting in many colors and tones to illustrate the beauty of this extraordinary vineyard.”
2018 Don Melchor is the culmination of tastes that come from a great place – and an exceptional harvest. To taste, it shows the complexity of small red fruits and floral notes. The wine reveals small, red fruits and floral notes with a palate full of flavor and elegance, defined by well-integrated tannins and a long, refined finish. If you’re looking for a cellar selection, 2018 Don Melchor has an exceptional aging potential of 35 years – if you can wait that long!
Photography by: Viña Don Melchor