Wine of the Week: Concha Y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Carmenere 2007

OK, the names seem to be getting even longer.  Sorry. But do try this 90% Carmenere / 10% Cabernet, the debut vintage of the line, which I tasted with the winemaker in 2009 shortly after its release.  Even then it was already drinkable, and it's only gotten better: a deep purple, rich, blackberry and plum treat, well balanced, with ripe, chewy tannin and a wonderful finish. You can find this wine at about $18-21.  It's a little above the range of wines I typically recommend, but worthy every penny. And the 2008 and 2009 are also outstanding if you can't lay your hands on an '07.

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Wine of the Week: Marques de la Casa Concha 2008 Cabernet

Chilean wine has come a long, long way from the $3 plonk I drank in college. This very good value bottle comes from Concha Y Toro, a winery run by people I've come to really appreciate. Concha is actually a huge operation with a slew of labels-including Casillero del Diablo, Don Melchor, Cono Sur, Terrunyo, and Los Robles-but they're very focused on quality, and in many ways resemble a collection of boutique wineries rather than a major production house. The 2008 Marques de la Casa Concha Cab is one of those wines that could easily have become an overripe, over-tannic, high-alcohol fruit bomb. Instead, it's nicely structured and well balanced, just moderately powerful and lush enough. There's a little mint…

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A Chat With Concha y Toro’s Marcelo Papa

  It’s not only a lot of fun but also a great learning experience when you get to sit down and talk with a winemaker (without his boss around).  I had the pleasure of doing just that at a small, private tasting sponsored by Snooth, an online wine database and portal for consumers to find and purchase wine online. The winemaker, Concha Y Toro’s Marcelo Papa, joined the company about 12 years ago with degrees in agriculture and winemaking, and a ton of experience at Viñedos Emiliana, a pioneer in organic winemaking in Chile (see my post here) and five years with that behemoth of the US wine industry Kendall-Jackson. He worked two harvests each year, one in California and…

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