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Marques de Casa Concha puts Puente Alto centre stage with £45 Cabernet

Concha y Toro has launched its most expensive wine yet for its Marques de Casa Concha brand – a £45 Cabernet blend from the Maipo’s prized Puente Alto sub-region.

Heritage is launching with Puente Alto-sourced Cabernet Sauvignon from 2020

The wine, called Heritage, uses grapes grown in a site near to the great estates of Puente Alto that produce top-end Cabernets from Don Melchor to Almaviva and Viñedo Chadwick – bottles that retail for around £100 or more.

Speaking to the drinks business yesterday about the new Cabernet blend, Marcelo Papa, winemaker and technical director for Concha y Toro, said that Puente Alto was “getting really good recognition” and, as a result, he felt that now was “the right time” to launch a fine wine from the area – although not at the level of Chile’s aforementioned brands, termed “icons” from the country.

Indeed, Heritage retails for around 40% of the price of Concha y Toro’s flagship Cabernet, Puente Alto’s Viña Don Melchor, which is now run and marketed as a standalone estate.

The new Casa Concha wine is mainly Cabernet Sauvignon (84%), with other varieties in the blend including Cabernet Franc (12%) and Petit Verdot (4%), with the grapes coming from a vineyard called El Mariscal, a 53-hectare plantation from 2000 which is located at 600m above sea level on the same third alluvial terrace of the Maipo Valley as the Don Melchor vineyard.

Almost 87% of the vineyard is devoted to Cabernet Sauvignon that comprises a massal selection from the Don Melchor vineyard, half of which has been planted without rootstocks, piè franco – and it’s the ungrafted vines that Papa is using for Heritage.

“The massal selection of Don Melchor means that all the vines are different, so it is not as homogenous as clonal material, so not all the grapes mature at the same time, which gives more chaos and more complexity,” he told db, adding, “For Heritage, we are using just the massal piè franco vines, which give more depth and complexity; the wines have a signature that is clear and different, and a point of differentiation with other great areas for Cabernet Sauvignon.”

As for the name of the wine, Papa said that Concha y Toro had decided to call it Heritage to draw attention to the fact this Cabernet blend reflects the origins of Marques de Casa Concha brand.

According to Papa, the first red wine from Marques de Casa Concha was a Cabernet blend from Puente Alto, using fruit from the 1972 harvest. Speaking about the new wine, he said, “It is a tribute to our legacy, our first wine was a ’72 from Puente Alto, before Almaviva, Don Melchor or Viñedo Chadwick.”

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