Marques de Casa Concha: Chilean wines that over-deliver

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(Image courtesy of conchaytoro.com)

MARQUES DE CASA CONCHA: These wines are a premium label of Chile’s renowned wine giant Concha y Toro. They are smart wines tailored by Marcelo Papa, one of five lead winemakers for Concha y Toro. They are priced from $22 to $25 at full markup, and are from single vineyards all owned by Concha y Toro, which means the winery has total control over quality. The name “Marques de Casa Concha” reflects the noble title bestowed in 1718 by the king of Spain to the Concha y Toro family, which later moved to Chile to found this famous winery in 1883. These wines are ready-made for holiday dining.

Marques de Casa Concha Chardonnay Chile 2014, $22: Bold aromatics, intense fruit woven with spice and minerality with good support from firm acidity all lay the groundwork for power and finesse. This is a sipping wine. Alcohol is 14 percent. Flavors are dry with notes of ripe pear, rip fig and hazelnut. Made from grapes from the Quebrada Seca Vineyard in the Limarí Valley, it’s considered  one of the top Chardonnays in the world.

Marques de Casa Concha Carmenere Chile 2014, $25: The deep color, intense aromas and robust flavors prepare this wine for grilled red meat. It has a hint of tobacco on the nose, and flavors are a dry cocktail of dark plum, dark licorice, dark chocolate and cranberry. Tannins are finely chiseled and those flavors resound on the midpalate. It’s not for timid palates. Carmenere is a grape variety originally grown in Bordeaux but not so much any more. It was introduced to Chile in the 19th century and was often confused with Merlot. Today, since being rightfully identified, it has become Chile’s flagship red. This wine is 88 percent Carmenere finished with Cabernet Sauvignon.

Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon Chile 2014, $25: Juicy dark berry fruit, tannins that grip the palate and a nice infusion of oak give this wine plenty of personality. It has that touch of tar and smoke and firm tannic structure that’s typical of fine Chilean reds. It has 6 percent Cabernet Franc, 1 percent Merlot and 1 percent Syrah in the final blend. Grapes are sourced from two historic vineyards in Maipo region — Puente Alto and Pirque.

You can reach Sandra Silfven at ssilfven@hotmail.com.