To celebrate our one year anniversary at The Wine Cask blog, PB, Billy, and I agreed to spend our evenings at home enjoying special bottles of wine. On an earlier posting I mentioned that I had enjoyed learning a lot about South American wines this past year. To honor that, I uncorked a real treasure from Chile that has been haunting me since I first tasted it about one year ago.
Concha Y Toro Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2000:
Dark and intense color
Mineral and steely nose
Cocoa, tar, and dark fruit as a tightly-wound core on the palate
Long finish, heavy tannins, and a bitter, semi-sweet chocolate zip at the end
Wow! This wine is so unbelievably intense! I had forgotten how tightly wound it is and how long it takes to open up. For South American Cab, it's one of the flagship wines and is one of the most extreme versions of the intensity that can be displayed in this category. Honestly, this isn't an everyday wine. For many wine enthusiasts, this is probably too dark and almost bitter. Couple that with the fact that it's difficult to find, and I don't recommend that you spend a lot of time hunting for this wine. It does receive very high scores from The Wine Spectator and other critics, and as a result, is considered a bargain at $45. However, it's almost unapproachable because it's just so intense.
After thirty minutes of slowly sipping on my first pour, I decided to decant the rest of the bottle. My next glass was almost two hours later and at that point, the wine was starting to open up and reveal it's layers to some extent. This is where I began picking up on the cocoa and the little bit of dark fruit that is compressed on the palate (if pressed for specifics, I'd say prunes, currant, and plum). Half way though my second glass, though, I got tired of analyzing this wine and tried to just enjoy the rest without thinking too much about it. After all, wine is for enjoyment and this particular one will continue to haunt me anyway! Raise a glass!