2016 WINE SPECTATOR TOP 100: #33
"Suave and refined, with rich, dense flavors of dried berry, dark plum, rose petal and bramble. Offers fine-grained tannins and accents of green olive. Finishes with hints of hot stone, dried beef and white pepper. Complex. Drink now through 2022. 7,400 cases made.
–KM " (WS)
"The 2012 Don Melchor, which in that ripe and warm vintage contained some 7% Cabernet Franc, has a showy nose with ripe blackberries that develop minty aromas with some time in the glass. The grapes are selected from their 127 hectares of vineyards in the zone, and fermented in small stainless steel vats to separate the different plots that are kept apart until after malolactic, when they are tasted and the blend is decided in July (the grapes are harvested between mid April and mid-May). The wine aged for 15 moths in French oak barrels, 70% of which were new. The palate is juicy with round tannins and good volume of fruit with the softness of a ripe vintage, showing the expressive aromas of the year. 91,200 bottles produced. This wine will be sold in March 2016." (WA)
"Wonderful aromas of black olives, meat and currants. Hints of fresh mint. Full to medium body, with sublime tannin texture that feels like the finest silk. A finish that lasts for minutes. Palate has amazing energy, richness and freshness. A great wine. So layered and balanced. 93% cabernet sauvignon and 7% cabernet franc. Drink or hold." (JS)
"This is a riper, heavier than usual Don Melchor, as evidenced by aromas of raisin along with black plum, coffee and creamy oak. A full, round, plush palate offers more than adequate depth, while black cherry, plum and vanilla flavors come with hints of licorice and chocolate. Hailing from a hot vintage, this avoids almost all herbal characteristics but feels a bit soft and simple. Drink through 2023." (WE)
The Don Melchor vineyard is situated at the foot of the Andes Mountains on the northern bank of the Maipo River at 650 meters a.s.l. The vineyard covers 127 hectares, 90% of them planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, 7.1% to Cabernet Franc, 1.9% to Merlot and 1% to Petit Verdot. the vines in the old vineyard currently average 30 years of age.
The first 30 cm of soil is loam with a large amount of stones below that. These soils ensure good drainage and low fertility, which helps restrict the plants’ vegetative growth and encourages the accumulation and maturation of phenolic compounds.
In general the vineyard has a semi-arid Mediterranean climate with an average rainfall of 350 mm per year. It is planted in one of the coldest sectors of the Alto Maipo Valley. This season was the coldest in the history of Don Melchor, and this, along with harvesting 10 days later than usual, allowed the grapes to ripen slowly and reach the end of the season with exceptionally well-ripened tannins along with very good fruit expression, freshness, and personality
15 months in French oak barrels, (66% new and 34% second-use).