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 and chocolate in there, reminiscent of a Mount Veeder (Napa), around a nice core of blackfruit. The 2008 vintage is about 92% Cab with a few percent Carmenere and 1% Petit Verdot.

This is a very satisfying wine that hints at a powerful California Cab but delivers a more restrained, nuanced and elegant experience. It’s got a great and moderately long finish, too.

It’s about $16-$20 just about everywhere. I’d say snap up a few bottles when you can find it.

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