Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling GourmetTM
All rights reserved
Food photos are of real food with NO photoshop
The indomitable and implacable Travelling GourmetTM goes to taste Don Melchor premium wine by Concha y Toro and…
MEET the well respected Wine Maker, tall, soft spoken and unassuming Enrique Tirado Santelices. Meticulously, he brought me on a guided tasting of wine from 7 parcels of a premium vineyard. he has been the Oenologist and Winemaker since 1997.
The 7 wines are later blended to make the Don Melchor wine which is comprised mostly of Cabernet Sauvignon with a dash of Cabernet Franc. This is what Concha y Toro bill as their Secret of Don Melchor Asia Tour 2014. The 7 vineyard parcels collectively form the 113 hectare Puenta Alto vineyard. The wine from each of the 7 parcels exhibited the ‘terroir’ and macro-climate of the area. The interactive tasting was fascinating and very stimulating. All the 7 wines had very good fruit expression and might even be mistaken for an Australian wine made in the French style.
and 3% Cabernet Franc
Finally, using a long measuring column, Enrique mixed different amounts of the 7 wines to create what he called with a smile, “…now we have Singapore blend!” . To ensure quality, Enrique told me they harvest 800g of grapes per vine. Low yield always makes for better quality and concentration.
The propotions were:
Wine Lot 1 : 22%
Wine Lot 2: 4% I liked the chocolate and blackberries on this wine.
Wine Lot 3: 13%
Wine Lot 4: 20%
Wine Lot 5: 10%
Lot 1 to 6 were Cabernet Sauvignon.
Wine Lot 6: 17%
Wine Lot 7 Cabernet Franc 10%
I was pleased with the 2009 vintage with its deep inky purple colour and so mellow and smooth on the palate with silky tannins that were not aggressive at all. It has 96 % Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Cabernet Franc. It was round and fleshy and on my palate… drinking very well. The RRP is S$155 and is on Duty Free sales in Hong Kong International Airport. The Oak from 6 to 7 different tonnelleries in France like Seguin Moreau and Allier were all Medium Toast. he uses 70% new oak barrels and 30% one use oak barrels. The crown jewel of Voncha y Toro undergoes 14 to 15 months of oak treatment. It is interesting to note that the 1998 vintage was 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. The aging potential is from 20 – 25 years.
The wines were well matched with 2 dishes from OCF restaurant on the second floor, inside the Arts House, which used to be the Parliament House.. In case you are wondering, OCF stands for Olivia Cassievelaun Fancourt, which was the married name of the widow that was Sir Stamford Raffles’ first wife. OMG! What a mouthful! I appreciate the restaurant trying to stand out from the rest BUT an unpronounceable name like this is really not a good idea! The Carpaccio of Beef was tasty in flavour but the meat was abit stringy and tough on my teeth. The Tomato Consomme was much better and went perfectly with the fruit forward, dark berry flavours of the wines, especially the vintage 2009. On a positive note the Chinese counterfeiters have not yet realised the potential of Don Melchor wines…
The wines were lovely. The food was lovely and I learned so much. Hwever, as sometimes occurs, a rude, intoxicated and obnoxious buffoon appeared to ask foolish questions of Enrique…thinking that by doing so he would impress everyone with his knowledge. Pathetically, he exhibited his ignorance of Chilean wines. Avoiding mountebanks and buffoons always makes me happy. It works!
Concha y Toro
Av. Nueva Tajamar
Torre Norte Piso 15
Tel: 56 2227 48165428
The wines are represented by VCT Group of Wineries asia Pte. Ltd.
Marketing Manager Carolyn Ethrington
Tel: 656507 9479