Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Report from ... Don Melchor Dinner at Harbour Sixty Steak House - September 10, 2013

Don Melchor dinner held at Harbour Sixty Steak House with winemaker Enrique Tirado in attendance ... 7 vintages of Melchor:  2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.  

Enrique has been working at Concha y Toro since 1993 and in charge of the Don Melchor wines since 1997. Don Melchor is made mainly from Cabernet Sauvignon ... in 1995 they started adding Merlot (~3%) and in 1999 they substituted the Merlot for Cabernet Franc.
Enrique Tirado
Enrique tells us that the grapes for Melchor comes from the Puente Alto vineyard (closest of the Toro vineyards to the Andes) with volcanic soils, which are poor soils with great drainage, it's the "key to the wine", say Enrique.  There is also great diurnal temperature in that vineyard: 28-29 degrees during the day - and drops to 8-10 degrees at night, "this helps to keep good acidity in the grapes."  The vines are 25-30 years old ... of the 127 hectares 90% is Cabernet Sauvignon while the other 10% is made up of Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.

15,000 cases are made every year and is treated completely separate from all the other Concha y Toro labels - its a winery unto its own.

the special room where the Melchor will be tasted
the writers begin to gather
the wines are assembled: 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005
the 2006, 2007 and 2008
The wines are poured and we're ready to taste
The Top Three ...
2003 ... warmer than normal vintage with lots of rain
Nose of black cherry and mint; Palate is super complex and
drinks much younger than it is - sexy and smooth with nice robust
dark fruit, hints of mineral and mint with smoky and touches of graphite
Can still age a few more years: 95% Cab Sauv and 5% Cab Franc
2006 ... started cooler than normal, grapes picked later
Nose of black raspberry, cocoa and licorice; Palate is a real beauty
with plenty of fruit, spice and acidity along with chocolate and spiced-blueberry
nice balance with a beautiful finish - this wine is all about elegance and balance
96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Cabernet Franc
2007 ... this vintage was very nice and the lowest yield in history
Nose of cherry, raspberry and chocolate; Palate is quite fruit driven
but with good minerality and acidity to balance the fruit - great structure
Rockin' tannins with fully concentrated fruit that coats the mouth
Easily ageable 5+ years - 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc
The Current Vintage ...
2008 ... warmer year with a huge influence from the Andes
Nose of red licorice, raspberry and chocolate; Palate is soft and sexy
with good acidity, soft black fruit and a lovely long finish
pleasant to drink now - 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc (****+)

The Food ...
Time to match the food with the wine
- and this wine goes with what we are about to eat
The Seafood Platter (seems big enough right?)
... but then they added level two
and look at the size of these shrimp (shrimp only in name)
Plus there was some tasty seared tuna
and a great Short Rib that was just so tender
Main - thick cut sirloin, two knuckle thickness
cooked to perfection (in my book anyway)
Check out this Porterhouse which was the size of your head
And a side of mashed potatoes - there were two different kinds of fried but I ran out of film
The Candids ...
Zoltan Szabo and Enrique clarify some points about Don Melchor
Enrique basks in the glow of the Wine Ladies
Enrique preaches the gospel of Melchor to Dick Snyder (City Bites)
and Michael Vaughan (Vintages Assessments)