WINE REVIEWS: Marques de Casa Concha, 2018 Carménère, D.O. Puemo, Chile ($20)
by Andrew Chalk
Carménère is the closest thing that Chile has as a national grape and Marques de Casa Concha is a premium brand of Concha y Toro, the country’s largest wine producer. The grapes for this wine come from the Puemo appellation in the Cachapoal Valley of Chile’s fertile Valle Centrale. Think of the climate as mediterranean and this region as a kind of California on the opposite side of the equator.
The results are wines that are powerfully fruity and fairly consistent from vintage to vintage. As a premium brand, Marques de Casa Concha wine making can incorporate sensible amounts of expensive new French oak barrels and allow for yield restraint to enhance fruit concentration. The technical sheets do not give the composition of old versus new oak in this particular wine but they do state that it received 14 months oak ageing. From the palate I would guess that at least some was new.
Appearance: Opaque ruby with purple rim;
Nose: Pyrazines, Cassis, boysenberry;
Palate: Chewy tannins, intense dark fruit, wood and forest notes. Enjoyable now with red meat or keep 3-5 years.
Note: Image shows 2017 label, which has an identical design to the 2018.