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Andrew Chalk is a Dallas-based author who writes about wine, spirits, beer, food, restaurants, wineries and destinations all over the world.

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DON MELCHOR: COMPANY CHANGES AND A NEW VINTAGE

by Andrew Chalk


News from the winery….


SANTIAGO, Chile -- Don Melchor has launched an independent winery, Viña Don Melchor, which will stand apart from the Viña Concha y Toro portfolio. The announcement coincides with the release of 2017 Don Melchor, the 30th Anniversary vintage from the celebrated Chilean wine. Don Melchor was first created in 1987 by the Guilisasti family of Concha y Toro, and named in honor of their forefather in the Chilean wine industry. Created from the renowned Puente Alto Vineyard in upper Maipo Valley, Don Melchor was the first icon wine to showcase Chile's profound potential for quality and has achieved worldwide approval as a collector's Cabernet Sauvignon.


"With the creation of Viña Don Melchor, we have our sights set on producing a single wine that is the unique expression of the Puente Alto terroir and to pay homage to this fantastic place that delivers a wine with personality and incomparable expression," explains Enrique Tirado, the winemaker of Don Melchor for over 20 years, who will bring his years of experience as the general manager of the new Viña Don Melchor.


According to Tirado, the launch of Viña Don Melchor will add value to the brand and enhance the current distribution channels. "We want to refine the way that Don Melchor is distributed with a more independent focus on the markets with the greatest growth potential," Tirado adds.


The decision to chart a new course for Don Melchor aims to highlight the singularity of this iconic Cabernet Sauvignon and its ability to express its own identity. "Our decision to launch as an independent winery was the logical next step in the growth of Don Melchor, which has operated autonomously from Concha y Toro in terms of vinicultural and winery management for the last 10 years," Enrique Tirado says.


The goal for the future will build on the three fundamental pillars that set Don Melchor apart: its impeccable heritage and history; its unique terroir; and a deep understanding and mastery of the winemaking that defines the wine.



2017 Don Melchor – 30th Anniversary Release

In addition to launching as Viña Don Melchor, the brand is celebrating its 30th anniversary with the release of the 2017 vintage. The label design has been changed to represent the historic Don Melchor Casona manor house, a distinctive icon that captures the wine's rich history and its enduring contribution to Chilean viticulture.


2017 Don Melchor is 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc, and spent 15 months in French oak barrels (67% first use and 33% second use). Deep cherry red in color, Don Melchor 2017 is highly aromatic and full of flavor including red berries. On the palate there are strong notes of Cabernet Sauvignon from Puente Alto, with fine and delicate tannins, in addition to good density and a long-lasting finish. This elegant wine represents another collector's choice from Puente Alto Vineyard.


Don Melchor 2017 retails for a suggested $120 per 750-ml bottle and will be available as of October 2019.


About Don Melchor

Don Melchor is a legacy wine from Chile, first created in 1987 by the Guilisasti family of Concha y Toro, and named for their forefather in Chilean wine. A Cabernet Sauvignon of refinement and elegant character, Don Melchor represents a singular expression of the Puente Alto Vineyard in the upper Maipo Valley, overseen by winemaker Enrique Tirado. The 7 parcels of Don Melchor are harvested independently to support over 150 micro-vinifications in the cellar, each then tasted and selected for the final composition. Don Melchor was the first wine to showcase Chile's profound potential for quality, with an unparalleled record as a collector's Cabernet Sauvignon. The second vintage of Don Melchor (1988) was the first Chilean wine to be named to Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of the World, where it has since placed nine times, including three placements in the Top 10. Currently in its 31st vintage release, Don Melchor is one of the world's most awarded wines - and launched as an independent winery, Viña Don Melchor, in fall 2019.