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Sunday, July 17, 2011

2003 Concha y Toro Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon

This wine is certainly of no small reputation and may be Chile's best scored wine of the decade. Looking over the wine scores for Don Melchor over the last 10 years, I couldn't find a single score under 91 points. This vintage that I'm lucky enough to be tasting was actually a 96pt wine and #4 on the Wine Spectator's Top 100 wines. I have tasted this wine before, but let's find out how the wine has matured over the last five years or so, and see if indeed the wine was worthy of such merit.

The color has held up absolutely perfectly and it's almost just as dark and opaque as it was upon release. There is only the very slightest of fading towards the edges of the glass, but if you didn't know it was the 03' this could easily go unnoticed.

On the nose I get the most fabulous and distinctly Chilean aromas of pepper, dried herbs, blackberry, black currant, scorched earth, mineral, and coffee. It has this peppery loam and mineral character that is absolutely mind-boggling. This is truly a distinctive and perplexing bouquet and one that tops my list of wines that demonstrate a true "sense of place". Awesome stuff...

On the palate this wine touches down with a barrage of black currant and blackberry flavor, as well as secondary notes of black pepper, mineral, tar, sage, and bitter chocolate. The tannins are still very much a factor on the finish towards the front of the palate, and the black currant sings for at least a minute or two post-sip. (you like that...."post-sip")!

This is just an all around a remarkable wine, and I'm actually tasting the bottle on the second day of being open and it has improved dramatically. If you have this in your cellar then you're very lucky because it is drinking beautifully right now and I can only see it getting better throughout the next decade. 95 points

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