Concha y Toro

Francisca Jara 28/08/2020

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All about wine

The distinctive character of the Chilean Cabernet

Did you know there was an accidental breeding between the Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc grapes what created Cabernet Sauvignon? This magical discovery happened in Bordeaux in the 17th century and the most incredible thing is that nobody knew that it would become the most popular grape variety in the world.

In Chile, it is also the most widely planted grape and corresponds to a third of all the vineyards throughout the country. Thanks to the good characteristics of the weather and the soil, this consistent red variety that arrived at the Chilean fields in the 19th century from Bordeaux, has become one of the most prestigious and distinguished wines in the country. In fact, the Cabernet Sauvignon variety from the renowned Casillero del Diablo brand is the best-selling one of the entire reserve line -which has more than 10 varieties.

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The long experience with this variety in Chile has allowed the results that today we see in the bottle and which are well known by their great consistency and quality. Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon, compared to Bordeaux, is fuller bodied and has softer tannins, making it pleasant to drink especially when it comes to younger wines. It has spiced notes in the palate that, along with its natural black fruit flavours such as blackberries, black cherries, figs and its silky texture, it makes it a slightly exotic cabernet. But, in addition, there are different styles: light, with a greater structure, more or less oaked, to drink straight away or to age for years.

If we go back to its origin, the best Cabernet Sauvignon in Chile usually come from the central wine region, situated between the cooling Pacific Ocean breezes and the hot, inland Andes Mountains. Precisely the area in which the Aconcagua, Maipo, Cachapoal and Colchagua valleys are located.

  • Aconcagua

This area is located around the cities of Llay Llay, San Felipe and Los Andes, and is characterized by being one of the driest and sunniest regions for cabernet production. Due to the dramatic temperature oscillation and the mountain’s influence, these are highly structured wines with great acidity, intense minerality and notes of dried fruits and red peppers.

  • Maipo

Around the towns of Pirque and Puente Alto, at the south side of the Maipo River and at the base of The Andes Mountains, its produced one of the most ideal Mediterranean climates for this grape in Chile. Here is where Maipo Valley is situated, creating full bodies wines, with notes of black and red berries, spices as black pepper and sometimes a distinctive menthol and graphite pencil notes. The Maipo’s cabernets are complex and sophisticated, with aging potential, long evolution on the palate and show much better their potential when decanted.

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Like Terrunyo Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 from the Pirque Vineyard (one of the oldest vineyards of Concha y Toro) and Marqués de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 (a blend of the Pirque and Puente Alto vineyards): two wines with an exquisite fruit concentration and structure.

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Also, Alto Maipo is the coolest area within this valley and the most famous because its superlative wines such as Gravas del Maipo Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 whose aromatic intensity, fine evolution and balance on the palate, shows one of the most elegant sides of this sub-region.

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  • Cachapoal

Going a little further to the south, between the Maipo and Colchagua valleys, Cachapoal stands out mainly for its Carmenère and Cabernet Sauvignon’s quality. With very dry summers and rainy winters, which are influenced by the coast, the Rapel River and the mountain, Cachapoal’s cabernet are well known for its elegance and minerality.

  • Colchagua

Located 170 kilometres south of Maipo region, this valley is famous for the Bordeaux grapes production thanks to its appropriate Mediterranean climate. Here, the renowned subareas of Apalta and Marchigüe also provide wines with a rich and tannic structure offering Cabernet Sauvignons with a great aging potential such as Gran Reserva Serie Riberas Cabernet Sauvignon 2018. Harvested on the banks of the Tinguiririca River, this coastal wine stands out for its black fruit, spices, silky tannins and a bright acidity that will not leave anyone indifferent.

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As you can see, in Chile we have wines for all tastes. But beyond its style, what is important about this grape is its historical consistency and world-class quality. And since today, 29th of August, we celebrate Cabernet Sauvignon Day, we invite you to uncork a bottle and to toast!

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