Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 64

YEAR'S BEST MAIPO REDS
Our blind panels tasted 55 Maipo reds over the past 12 months. Joshua Greene, our critic for Chile, rated 13 as exceptional (90+) and 6
as Best Buys. Find a complete list of wines tasted and all reviews at wineandspiritsmagazine.com.

125322

95 | Viña Almaviva

95 | Concha y Toro

$70

2017 Puente Alto Gravas del Maipo Cabernet Sauvignon^Isabel Mitarakis makes
this wine from blocks at Puente Alto planted
from 1985 to 1992, at a time when Pablo
Morandé, then chief winemaker for Concha
y Toro, was exploring the soils of this vineyard on terraces above the north bank of the
Maipo. The vineyard has since been parceled
out for Almaviva and Don Melchor, both of
which have their own sectors of the original
Puente Alto. Based on this latest vintage of
Gravas, there is still some great land left for
the Concha y Toro team. This seems like the
optimal Maipo cabernet, silken in texture,
Andean in its refreshing mint and rosemary
notes, layering cool fruit flavors of strawberries and plums in a nuanced and quietly
gracious wine. It feels dynamic, and seemingly effortless, with an energy that makes
it lovely to drink now, and will extend its life
for a decade. ¤ Fetzer Vineyards, Hopland, CA

64

WINE & SPIRITS

first created in the late 1990s; they have since
been replanted (from 2003 to 2008) and yet
those relatively young vines are performing
beautifully in the rocky, alluvial soils. Their
fruit tastes clean and pure in this 2017, the
flavors lasting with stamina as they rise from
low, earthy bass notes to smoky tenors and
strawberry sopranos. It's bold without being
aggressive, a bright red jazzed with cool
spice. ¤ Fetzer Vineyards, Hopland, CA
124837

$145

2017 Puente Alto Almaviva The joint venture between Baron Philippe de Rothschild
(Mouton) and Concha y Toro began in the
mid-1990s, launched with the 1996 vintage.
The winery was constructed in the midst of
the 148 acres of vines dedicated to Almaviva
at Puente Alto. It's an ideal site for cabernet
sauvignon, a plateau at 2,130 feet, nestled
into the Andes on a terrace above the north
bank of the Maipo River. In 2017, the blend
includes cabernet sauvignon (65 percent),
carmenère (23 percent), cabernet franc, petit
verdot and merlot, the wine aged 19 months
in new French oak barrels. It's a dynamic red,
its distinctive red fruit seriously concentrated
yet carrying the freshness of mountain air.
The tannins have a cocoa richness and subtle
nuances of truffles. While the vintage may
have been hot and dry, there is no apparent heat in the wine, just plump ripeness
and impressive power, ready to carry it for a
decade or more in the cellar. ¤ Joanne Bordeaux
USA, San Francisco, CA
125288

JUNE 2020

124862

93 | Concha y Toro

$40

2017 Puente Alto Marqués de Casa Concha Etiqueta Negra (Best Buy) ^ Marcelo
Papa blended this wine from Puente Alto,
once the name of Concha y Toro's Tocornal
Vineyard, where cabernet sauvignon, franc
and petit verdot grow on a terrace above the
Maipo River. Now Puente Alto is a DO, and
the Marqués sector has been named El Mariscal; other sectors are home to Don Melchor
and to Almaviva, the joint venture between
Concha y Toro and Mouton-Rothschild. This
blend spends 16 months in French oak barrels (60 percent of them new), and the length
of fruit flavor shows little of that oak. It's a
wine of ripe amplitude and gentle Chilean
quietude, the aroma nuanced and layered,
the musky black-cherry flavors unfolding
over the course of several hours and seeming to last for minutes after each sip. It's rare
to find a $40 wine of this quality and complexity from anywhere. (W&S 2/20) ¤ Fetzer
Vineyards, Hopland, CA

125275

93 | Concha y Toro

$40

2017 Pirque Terrunyo Pirque Viejo Cabernet Sauvignon Pirque Viejo is one of Concha
y Toro's oldest vineyard sites, at the base of
the Andes and directly on the south bank of
the Maipo River. The vines there are no longer as viejo as they were when Terrunyo was

93 | Domus Aurea

$70

91 | Pérez Cruz

$22

91 | Santa Carolina

$20

2015 Maipo Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ^
This grows at Ricardo and Isabel Peña's vineyard in the foothills of Macul, a 45-acre parcel above the land that the Cousiño family
once farmed, that historic site now gone to
housing. This remains prime cabernet terroir, as showcased in Domus Aurea's cool
Andean style. The 2015 is quiet and mannered, with firm black-currant juiciness and
eucalyptus scents that bring to mind the trees
at the vineyard's edges. The chocolate notes
of oak add to the saturation of the texture,
the wine needing bottle age to fully evolve
toward elegance. (W&S 2/20) ¤ Global Vineyard Importers, Berkeley, CA
125317
2017 Maipo Valley Limited Edition Cabernet Sauvignon ^ The Pérez Cruz family
farm their Liguai vineyard just south of Alto
Jahuel, in the foothills of the Andes. Their
2017 cabernet is light and red-fruited, its
silken texture taken toward waxy richness by
aging in French oak (50 percent new). The
Andean flavors are saturated enough to fill
out the oak, lasting on notes of strawberry
seeds, pomegranate and tobacco. Pour it with
dark-meat chicken braised with olives. ¤ Massanois Imports, NY
125415
2017 Maipo Valley Reserva de Familia Cabernet Sauvignon ^ This grows at El Mariscal,
a vineyard on the north bank of the Maipo
River at the base of the Andes. It's a cool and
elegant cabernet with scents of strawberries
and the gamey flavor of wild duck. Clean and
bright. ¤ Carolina Wine Brands USA, Charleston, SC
125402


http://www.wineandspiritsmagazine.com https://www.conchaytoro.com/en/descubre-vinos/ https://www.conchaytoro.com/en/descubre-vinos/

Wine & Spirits - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wine & Spirits - June 2020

Contents
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Cover1
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Cover2
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 1
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Contents
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 3
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Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Cover3
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Cover4
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