If one were to name an iconic Chilean wine, Don Melchor is most likely to be the one that comes to mind immediately. Don Melchor is known as Chile’s icon wine and the benchmark of Chilean fine wine, having been the first from the country to gain worldwide recognition and accolades almost three decades ago. The Chilean wine had its inaugural launch of the 2015 Vintage in Singapore recently on 20 June 2018 and also celebrated 29 years of excellence with the release of the 2015 Vintage.
Isabel Mitarakis Guilisasti, winemaker and member of the Giulisati founding family of Viña Concha y Toro, was in town to introduce the process of producing Don Melchor Wine. The Don Melchor project was led by well-known consultant Jacques Boissenot from Bordeaux, France, producing the first vintage in 1987.
The Don Melchor vineyard is located in central Chile, on the oldest terrace of the Maipo River, at the foot of the Andes Mountains. The conditions there provide an outstanding climate for wine production, with cool winds from the mountains preventing temperatures from climbing too high during the day. The grapes are hand-picked, selected painstakingly through a tedious process that ensures that grapes of the best quality are chosen. At the final stage, seven parcels of Cabernet Sauvignon are selected, each being carefully harvested and vinified separately, ensuring top-notch quality of each and every one.
At the launch event, Don Melchor collaborated Ristorante Luka, of which Chef-owner Takashi Okuno curated a special menu that best brought out the splendour of the Don Melchor wines during the event. The meal started off with freshly shucked Japanese oyster topped with Japanese salmon roe and shallots, injecting freshness and quality into the experience.
When the Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 was brought out, I took my first sip in great anticipation, eager to taste the wine I have been hearing about for so long. The 2012 certainly did not disappoint, giving off hints of spiciness that tingledthe nose. It was a wine with “high expressivity”, a “velvety taste”, and “full of layers”, as explained by Isabel Mitarakis Guilisasti herself. If the 2012 was a person, it would certainly possess a very feisty personality, one that leaves a memorable impression.
On the other hand, Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 exuded a very different vibe as compared to the Cabernet Sauvignon 2012. The 2014 is silkier, softer and more muted in comparison to the 2012, and not as spicy.
The third star of the evening is the Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2015. The 2015 Vintage consists of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 1 % Petit Verdot — a full-bodied” wine. If you lean towards a more expressive wine, the 2015 will leave an indelible impression on you.
Chilean wines have really come into its own, in spite of its short history. If you have not explored tasting Chilean wines, the Don Melchor wines would be a great start for sure.