Chilean wine-maker Viña Concha y Toro has launched two limited edition wines – the Chardonnay and the Pinot Noir, as part of the Marques de Casa Concho collection. Made with grapes from the Bío Bío Valley, one of Chile’s southernmost grape-growing zones, both these 2016 vintage wines taste refreshing, carrying subtle notes of the South Pacific Ocean balanced with the right amount of acidity.
Besides the two limited-edition wines, I tried four other different types of Marques de Casa Concha wines during a wine tasting session, with each derived from a vineyard of a specific origin in Chile. The taste of each wine is very much influenced by an interplay of a myriad of factors: the natural environment such as the proximity to the ocean and mountains; the layout of the vineyard; as well as the process and length of time taken to grow and enrich the grapes. This gives each wine its own unique character.
The Chardonnay, which hails from the Quebrada Seca vineyard, D.O. Limarí, Limarí valley, is light on the palate, smooth and easy to drink. The flavours of white pears and toasted hazelnuts were evident when I tasted the wine, but what I enjoyed most about the Chardonnay was the mineral notes that shone through – one could almost taste the ocean.
Next we had the limited-edition Chardonnay, which is from the Quitralmán vineyard, D.O. Bío-Bío, Bío-Bío Valley. With its bright lemon yellow appearance, this Chardonnay looked and smelled inviting before I even tasted it. It has a rich and elegant flavour, more concentrated and slightly more acidic than its predecessor. This wine would make a perfect pairing for a hearty seafood meal, with its delicious aromas of white pears and excellent vitality bringing a new depth and structure to the meal.
We moved on from the whites to the reds, first being the Pinot noir from San Julián vineyard, D.O. Limarí, Limarí valley. The Pinot Noir was a brilliant ruby red, with a flavour profile that highlighted a mélange of raspberries and strawberries. Slightly sweet to the taste, but with notes of toasted French oak – rendering its finish long, lingering, and reminiscing the mountains and countryside.
This was followed by the limited-edition Pinot Noir, from the Quitralmán vineyard, D.O. Bío-Bío, Bío-Bío Valley. This Pinot Noir of a deeper red is sultrier and more complex in taste and in smell compared to the previous Pinot Noir, but still concentrated with a delicate composition of aromas of berries, incorporated with hints of oakiness. This wine would pair well with red meats, especially seared duck, and I would think it to be an ideal complement to a fine dining experience.
We also tasted the Carmenere, from the Peumo vineyard, D.O. Peumo, Cachapoal valley. This is a wine that was not known by most, with a significant resemblance in taste and smell to a Merlot. But it had a unique, slightly dry acidic taste which surprised me pleasantly as I found it to be intense with dark plums, black currents and notes of dark chocolate – a very interesting combination that worked in symphony with my wagyu beef burger.
Lastly, we tried the Cabernet Sauvignon, from the Puente Alto & Pirque vineyards, D.O. Maipo, Alto Maipo valley. This wine had a strong, dreamy aroma composed of a mixture of cherries, blackberries, cedar and smoky tar. This wine would be perfect for a family sharing a pot of hot meat stew, or a romantic dinner having steak. It has firm tannins, with a solid structure and smooth texture that made it an easy and enjoyable drink.
The portfolio of Marques de Casa Concha’s wines is rich and dynamic, a fine representation of the myriad of possibilities that Chilean wine has to offer. The wines are a delight to the palate, and I would highly recommend trying these wines if one is not familiar with or has yet to be exposed to Chilean wines.
The wines are available at NTUC Finest and 1855 The Bottle Shop in Singapore.