2005 Concha y Toro "Don Melchor" Cabernet Sauvignon Puente Alto

SKU #1037618 96 points Wine Spectator

 Still very tight, but the tannins that lead the way now are sleek and refined, and should easily meld into the huge core of roasted chestnut, black currant paste, warm fig and tar. Has a long, coffee and loam-tinged finish. *Highly Recommended, #12 on Top 100 of 2008* (JM)  (6/2008)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2005 Don Melchor was cropped from an almost perfect year, when the grapes were picked between April 11 and May 19 in a slightly warmer year that provided powerful wines. The bottled wine was Cabernet Sauvignon with some 3% Cabernet Franc and had been matured in French oak barrels for 15 months, with 70% new barrels and the rest second use. Somehow this vintage had never been rated before, and I'm glad I did because it's a very good year, with average rain and not so high temperature, with a combination of power and finesse, notes of ash, earth, red and black fruit and a powerful palate. You see more the hand of a good winemaker here; there is very good balance, quality of tannins and freshness. This has balance, finesse and energy. It's evolving at a very slow pace, and it should continue aging forever in bottle. (LG)  (4/2017)

91 points Wine & Spirits

 This is a muscular vintage of Don Melchor, Enrique Tirado's top Cabernet from Concha y Toro. Its ripe black currant aromas meld with light herb scents. The structure is robust and tense, with young tannins that will need another two or three years to fuse with the fruit. Or drink it now with prime rib.  (10/2008)

K&L Notes

Now an icon of the Chilean wine industry, Don Melchor has been made since 1987. Puente Alto is located in the highest, coldest region of the Maipo Valley. 93 points Neal Martin's Wine Journal: "Tasted at the Don Melchor vertical in London. A blend of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc, this seems simpler on the nose than the 2003, primal but pure with dark cherries, damson and blueberry, good definition, unfurling in the glass, quite Bordeaux-like in style. The palate is showing much more panache than the nose suggests: really fine tannins here, beautiful balance and good acidity, smooth and sophisticated with rounded red-berried fruit laced with dark chocolate, chestnut and a touch of hung game. Lingering nicely on the finish, this is a polished, confident Don Melchor." (07/2010)

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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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14