2001 Concha y Toro "Don Melchor" Cabernet Sauvignon Puente Alto

SKU #1013574 95 points Wine Spectator

 *#4 on the Top 100 Wines of 2005* Gorgeous nose of black currant preserves and freshly roasted coffee, with a powerful yet very silky palate of cassis, plum, blackberry, loam, mineral and dark chocolate flavors that glide through a superlong finish. Don't be deceived by its seeming accessibility though--there's some iron-clad structure underneath for the long haul as well.  (2/2005)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon remains youthful. It has a spicy, pain grille accented nose with plenty of mineral, cassis, and black currant making their presence known. The wine is medium to full-bodied in an elegant St.-Julien style. This layered, lengthy effort will continue to develop for another 6-8 years and drink well through 2027.  (6/2007)

92 points Wine & Spirits

 After a complicated 2000, Don Melchor is back. Grown at El Tocornal vineyard, at 2,200 feet in the cool breezes of the Andes, the newest version of this classic Alto Maipo cabernet is firm and round, ripe and elegant. The texture is generous, the firm tannic structure releasing cassis and blueberry flavors as the wine takes on oxygen. The fresh acidity, along with the juiciness and massive attack of the fruit, points to a great cabernet vintage in Maipo. You may want to lay this down and allow its complexity to develop.  (2/2005)

Jancis Robinson

 This season, wintertime monopolised most of the rainfall, which showered through mainly June and July. Wintertime began with low temperatures but got increasingly warmer until it turned into a fairly temperate spring, providing good conditions for the vines to begin their vegetative cycle. Summer brought more good weather and very sparse precipitations, allowing for clusters to fully ripen. Blackberry and cherry, vanilla, smoked bacon, lengthy and expressive with aromatic finish, concentrated fruit, high acid and alcohol and plenty of bottle age to come. Meaty, earthy, ripe - delicious. (17.5/20 points)  (12/2009)

K&L Notes

91 points Neal Martin: "Tasted at the Dom Melchor vertical in London. A blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Cabernet Franc with 14.0% alcohol, this has a lively, spicy, animated nose with touches of green peppercorns, blackberry, dark plum and a touch of coconut. The palate is medium-bodied with a supple mouthfeel, more approachable than the ’99, less abrasive with bright red-berried fruit, a touch of vanilla, molasses and dark chocolate. Very well defined and focused towards the finish. Accomplished." (12/2009)

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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.


- Located on the western coast of South America and bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Andes to the East, the Chilean wine-growing climate is similar to that of California's Napa Valley and Bordeaux. The Chilean wine industry is known for being consistently free of phylloxera, but political and economic unrest has brought its own source of disorder. The recent establishment of a free market has resuscitated the wine industry, and significant investments have been made, switching the economic focus from domestic production to exports. Chile produces roughly a quarter of the wine Argentina produces, and is known for single-varietal exports, predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. It's a popular region in the U.S. known for inexpensive and tasty wine. Click for a list of bestselling items from Chile.