2013 Puente Alto, Chile Puente Alto Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon •Puente Alto Vineyard
D.O. Puente Alto
This is one of the best wines we’ve ever featured.
We purchased every last case in the country that wasn’t spoken for, but we still expect this wine to sell out. Don Melchor only makes one wine each year, and today we’ve got their finest vintage on record, the Don Melchor 2013 Puente Alto, Chile Puente Alto Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.
This Chilean Cabernet has intense color-extraction, impenetrable to light at the core, with a dark garnet color with the thinnest lip of crimson at the edge. It’s got a hugely fragrant and alluring nose of cassis, amaretto, tobacco, jasmine, leather and serrano pepper. It would be right at home in Napa. This wine is fabulous with sweet cherry and cranberry fruit paired an absolutely delicious smokey meatiness. Top it off with floral potpourri and spicy coriander and you’ve got the whole package. Clearly produced by a winemaker of talent, this wine is absolute finesse with layer upon layer unfolding supple tannin and compact fruit until an unbelievably long finish finally fades. This wine deserves the finest steak you can get your hands on. Spare no expense and go for Kobe beef seared to perfection.
About Puente Alto, from James Suckling: “The Don Melchor vineyard, predominately planted with cabernet sauvignon, enjoys the cool climate that descends from the Andes countered with the prevalent warm climate of the Valle de Maipo. This combination in addition to the poor, alluvial soil makes it a unique spot for Cabernet. As Enrique explains, while there is vintage variation, one can find a special characteristic pattern in the wines that combines power with an elegance that results from the precise ripeness that can be achieved here.
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Here’s what the wine press has to say.
97 Points, Outstanding - Tim Atkin - ““This is one of greatest ever releases of Don Melchor. The coolness of the vintage is evident in the freshness, poise and sheer elegance of this exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend. Focused and fine, with leafy, minty notes and dexterous oak integration.”
96 Points - James Suckling - “This is from one of the coolest vintages in memory but delivers fresh tobacco and currant aromas and flavors. Full body, chewy tannins and plenty of currant leaf and stone character. A structured and very solid Don Melchor. 91% cabernet sauvignon and 9% cabernet franc. Drink or hold.”
96 Points - Descorchados, Guide to the wines of Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay
93 Points - Robert Parker - “2012 is a short vintage, so the 2013 will be released towards the end of 2016. I tasted the 2013 Don Melchor, which contained 9% of Cabernet Franc to complement the Cabernet Sauvignon from Puente Alto in the Maipo Valley; the final blend was created from 23 lots of free-run juice wine and 39 lots of press wine. The blend is done with the help of Eric Boissenot (previously with his father Jacques). The wine matured in 66% new French oak barrels for some 15 months. I see this 2013 more in the line of the 2010 (and 2011). In fact, 2013 was a very cold year. The nose combines aromas of tobacco, iron and blood, dark cherries and some herbs. The palate shows something in between 2011 and 2012, medium to full-bodied with fruit, tannins and a slightly bitter finish. It should get polished with a little bit more time in bottle. 109,200 bottles produced. I also had the chance to preview the 2014 and 2015 vintages that were aging in barrel, still very young and primary.”
93 Points - Wine Spectator - “An elegant and refined red, featuring concentrated dark plum and cherry flavors full of subtle savory notes. Offers mouthwatering acidity, with a rich finish delivering forest floor and mineral accents. Drink now through 2022.”
93 Points - Wine and Spirits Magazine - “From vines planted in the early 1970s on an alluvial terrace above the north bank of the Maipo River, Don Melchor is a classic among Chilean wines. Enrique Tirado has made this wine from the same vineyard at Puente Alto since 1997. This latest release comes from a cool year, and you might notice that in the herbal notes and the vibrant acidity, underlining the generous core of sweet red fruit. The wine’s restrained ripeness will allow it to mature unencumbered by any excess weight. In fact, it needs ten years of age to show its best.”
92 Points - Wine Enthusiast - “Initially this smells foxy, with jumpy untamed berry and plum notes racing across the nose. After the aromas come around, this is hard and choppy on the palate, while herbal black-plum and carob flavors finish more lushly than before, but still fairly tannic. Drink through 2023.”
Intense color-extraction, impenetrable to light at the core, with a dark garnet color with the thinnest lip of crimson at the edge.
Cassis, amaretto, tobacco, jasmine, leather and serrano pepper.
Sweet cherry, cranberry, delicious smokey meatiness, floral potpourri, coriander.
Clearly produced by a winemaker of talent, this wine is absolute finesse with layer upon layer unfolding supple tannin and compact fruit until an unbelievably long finish finally fades.
This wine deserves the finest steak you can get your hands on. Spare no expense and go for Kobe beef seared to perfection.
What the Winery Says
- Enrique Tirado
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- 91% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 9% Cabernet Franc
- 3.26 g/L
- Manual from April 17 to May 17, 2013.
- Vineyard yield is 5 tons/hectare (2.47 acres)
- 15 months in French oak
- 66% new
- 34% second use
- Aging Potential
- 20-25 years