Cellar Notes

Don Melchor
Enrique Tirado
2012 was a big year for Enrique Tirado the head winemaker for Don Melchor. He and his family
took a year to immerse themselves in all things French, from language, to academics, to food, and of
course, wine.
It was a big decision to move my whole family to France for a year—but it was a good one. I’ve been working at Concha y Toro since
1993 and have been in charge of Don Melchor since 1997, so it seemed like it was time for some fresh inspiration, to catch up on the
latest techniques and thinking in the wine world. I’ve always loved Cabernet and Bordeaux-style wines, so there was never much
question about where to go… Bordeaux it was, and so early in 2012, my wife and I with our four kids (ages 4 to 15) set off on a
year-long adventure in France.
I enrolled in the University of Bordeaux and completed an overarching diploma program as well as two additional smaller diplomas
in specific areas. Ten courses total… all in French… what a challenge!
I love working with Don Melchor—always have. When I was
studying enology, I did my thesis project on Cabernet
Sauvignon, and in 1992 (the year I graduated) I was invited to
participate in a couple of blind tastings of “Top Chilean wines.”
The amazing thing is that both times, my favorite wine, the one
I ranked Nº 1, was Don Melchor. Needless to say, I was very
happy to start working at Concha y Toro a year later, and thrilled
when I joined the Don Melchor team in 1995. Imagine how I
felt when they put me in charge two years later!
Sure, I made some changes when I “inherited” Don Melchor, but
it wasn’t a matter of style. That doesn’t change much over the
years. It’s not a matter of winemaker style. My goal is to make an
excellent Cabernet Sauvignon that fully expresses the natural
characteristics of Puente Alto, in the Alto Maipo Valley. And that
means special dedication in the vineyard, so the most important
changes I implemented had to do with how we work in the
vineyard. Any technology and methodology we incorporate is
always in function of that goal.
We’re looking for a wine with the perfect balance between
Cabernet fruit and elegance. It’s not easy, and it doesn’t happen
just anywhere. It takes terroir and know-how. What we have at
Puente Alto is the Andes, which influences the soils—rocky soils
mean good drainage—and the climate. We also have the human
factor—a group of hard-working people dedicated to making
Don Melchor everything it can and should be without
overworking it. It’s important to know when to back off and let
the wine be itself.
We’ve just launched the 2009 vintage, and while it is clearly Don
Melchor, it has its own character, mostly due to climatic
differences. Both 2008 and 2009 were warm years, but the
advantage we had in 2009 was that the soil absorbed more water
over the winter and spring, so we didn’t have to irrigate until
much later in the season, and that benefits the vines. When the
CELLAR NOTES Nº
1 JUNE 2013
Enrique Tirado in Pauillac, France.
But it wasn’t all about studying. We wanted a genuine French
experience, to actually live there, to truly feel the culture—in situ
and on a daily basis. Our kids went to school and all learned
French. My wife studied cooking, and we traveled around the
country every chance we got, visiting chateaux and immersing
ourselves in the French way of life. It was a wonderful experience
for each of us personally, for us as a family, and obviously for me,
it was an excellent professional experience.
My program spanned a wide range of areas, not only in the
vineyard and cellar, but also included courses on research and
communication. And while all of this information helped
broaden, my way of looking at the field, my intention is
not—and never has been—to try and copy a French model here
in Chile. I don’t want to make a French wine; I want to make the
best Chilean wine I can. We aim for a Cabernet Sauvignon that
expresses the very best of Chile.
One of the first things we did was sectorize the vineyards. Today
we have a total of 127 hectares—114 in those days, and we
divided them up into 100 parcels to work each independently
and then organized them into seven overarching groups
according to their characteristics to make the different Cabernet
wines that ultimately go into the final Don Melchor blend.
Over the years we have tweaked our techniques, improving
canopy management, experimenting with irrigation methods,
fine tuning harvest dates, etc. The same goes in the
bodega—we’re continuously working on perfecting maceration
schedules, punch downs, and timing, right down to the smallestsix seasons vinexpo 2013
detail. In the end, making a fine wine is the culmination of an
enormous number of decisions made at every step of the
process—all aimed at producing the desired result, which in our
case is a wine that shows plenty of fresh fruit, with lively acidity,
pleasing concentration, and well-rounded tannins.
plants have ready access to natural reserves of water the fruit
conserves its freshness better, and this comes through in the
2009. It has more fresh fruit expression and livelier acidity than
the 2008. They’re similar in their composition—the 2009 has a
bit more Cabernet Franc (4% vs. 3% in 2008), and both spent 15
months in French oak barrels (72% new), so the differences are
clearly due to the weather. The 2009 is full of red fruit and bright
acidity to complement its greater depth and density.
So what’s ahead? My family and I have already returned to “real
life” here in Chile and are assimilating our tremendous
experience into our own lives. For me, professionally, it’s a matter
of reflecting on everything I learned last year and determining
how and where I can apply it in my work. And for Don Melchor?
We’ll have to see how it responds to the gentle adjustments we
make to help it better express its own rich and unique personality.

Enrique Tirado2012 was a big year for Enrique Tirado the head winemaker for Don Melchor. He and his family took a year to immerse themselves in all things French, from language, to academics, to food, and of course, wine.It was a big decision to move my whole family to France for a year—but it was a good one. I’ve been working at Concha y Toro since 1993 and have been in charge of Don Melchor since 1997, so it seemed like it was time for some fresh inspiration, to catch up on the latest techniques and thinking in the wine world. I’ve always loved Cabernet and Bordeaux-style wines, so there was never much question about where to go… Bordeaux it was, and so early in 2012, my wife and I with our four kids (ages 4 to 15) set off on a year-long adventure in France.I enrolled in the University of Bordeaux and completed an overarching diploma program as well as two additional smaller diplomas in specific areas. Ten courses total… all in French… what a challenge!I love working with Don Melchor—always have. When I was studying enology, I did my thesis project on Cabernet Sauvignon, and in 1992 (the year I graduated) I was invited to participate in a couple of blind tastings of “Top Chilean wines.” The amazing thing is that both times, my favorite wine, the one I ranked Nº 1, was Don Melchor. Needless to say, I was very happy to start working at Concha y Toro a year later, and thrilled when I joined the Don Melchor team in 1995. Imagine how I felt when they put me in charge two years later! Sure, I made some changes when I “inherited” Don Melchor, but it wasn’t a matter of style. That doesn’t change much over the years. It’s not a matter of winemaker style. My goal is to make an excellent Cabernet Sauvignon that fully expresses the natural characteristics of Puente Alto, in the Alto Maipo Valley. And that means special dedication in the vineyard, so the most important changes I implemented had to do with how we work in the vineyard. Any technology and methodology we incorporate is always in function of that goal.We’re looking for a wine with the perfect balance between Cabernet fruit and elegance. It’s not easy, and it doesn’t happen just anywhere. It takes terroir and know-how. What we have at Puente Alto is the Andes, which influences the soils—rocky soils mean good drainage—and the climate. We also have the human factor—a group of hard-working people dedicated to making Don Melchor everything it can and should be without overworking it. It’s important to know when to back off and let the wine be itself.We’ve just launched the 2009 vintage, and while it is clearly Don Melchor, it has its own character, mostly due to climatic differences. Both 2008 and 2009 were warm years, but the advantage we had in 2009 was that the soil absorbed more water over the winter and spring, so we didn’t have to irrigate until much later in the season, and that benefits the vines. When the CELLAR NOTES Nº1 JUNE 2013Enrique Tirado in Pauillac, France.But it wasn’t all about studying. We wanted a genuine French experience, to actually live there, to truly feel the culture—in situand on a daily basis. Our kids went to school and all learned French. My wife studied cooking, and we traveled around the country every chance we got, visiting chateaux and immersing ourselves in the French way of life. It was a wonderful experience for each of us personally, for us as a family, and obviously for me, it was an excellent professional experience.My program spanned a wide range of areas, not only in the vineyard and cellar, but also included courses on research and communication. And while all of this information helped broaden, my way of looking at the field, my intention is not—and never has been—to try and copy a French model here in Chile. I don’t want to make a French wine; I want to make the best Chilean wine I can. We aim for a Cabernet Sauvignon that expresses the very best of Chile.One of the first things we did was sectorize the vineyards. Today we have a total of 127 hectares—114 in those days, and we divided them up into 100 parcels to work each independently and then organized them into seven overarching groups according to their characteristics to make the different Cabernet wines that ultimately go into the final Don Melchor blend.Over the years we have tweaked our techniques, improving canopy management, experimenting with irrigation methods, fine tuning harvest dates, etc. The same goes in the bodega—we’re continuously working on perfecting maceration schedules, punch downs, and timing, right down to the smallest detail. In the end, making a fine wine is the culmination of an enormous number of decisions made at every step of the process—all aimed at producing the desired result, which in our case is a wine that shows plenty of fresh fruit, with lively acidity, pleasing concentration, and well-rounded tannins.plants have ready access to natural reserves of water the fruit conserves its freshness better, and this comes through in the 2009. It has more fresh fruit expression and livelier acidity than the 2008. They’re similar in their composition—the 2009 has a bit more Cabernet Franc (4% vs. 3% in 2008), and both spent 15 months in French oak barrels (72% new), so the differences are clearly due to the weather. The 2009 is full of red fruit and bright acidity to complement its greater depth and density.So what’s ahead? My family and I have already returned to “real life” here in Chile and are assimilating our tremendous experience into our own lives. For me, professionally, it’s a matter of reflecting on everything I learned last year and determining how and where I can apply it in my work. And for Don Melchor? We’ll have to see how it responds to the gentle adjustments we make to help it better express its own rich and unique personality.

19/6/2013

The action, with special tasting of six vintages of wine, begins the celebration of the 130th anniversary of Chilean wine at Vinexpo in France

June 2013 – In the 2013 edition of the most important wine fair in the world, Vinexpo, promoted between 16 and 20 June in Bordeaux, France, Concha y Toro initiates the celebration of its 130 years with the first tasting master classs wine premium Don Melchor. The action will be led by winemaker Enrique Tirado, along with the renowned French adviser Eric Boissenot.

The master class, with special guests, will present six wine vintages: 1988, 1993, 1999, 2005 and 2007, representing three decades of beverage production.

Through this vertical tasting, guests will appreciate the master class the story of Don Melchor through different seasons and its consistent development since its inception. “A tasting of this type provides a glimpse of the story of Don Melchor and how is evolving over time. It’s like watching a person in various stages of life, “explains winemaker Enrique Tirado.

Thus, the Concha y Toro once again highlights its path of global leadership and its commitment to creating distinctive wines that express the characteristics of their origin.

With a prime location in the exhibition, in the exclusive Club du Lac, where are the most prestigious wineries in the world, Concha y Toro presents during the event, and for the first time at the fair, a booth that represents the flagship of Pirque Casona, located in his winery in the Maipo Valley, Chile, which was the summer residence of the Concha y Toro family during the nineteenth century.

The booth theme refers to “Three decades Beauty Puente Alto terroir”, which celebrates the creation of the wine Don Melchor, who had his first vintage produced in 1987, when we obtained the best wine that Chile could produce, the height of the great European icons.

About Don Melchor:

Don Melchor is the first ultra premium wine industry Chilean, released in 1989 by Concha y Toro. It is the only one with 22 winning seasons and recognized worldwide by critics, winemakers and sommeliers. Touted by many as the best cabernet sauvignon produced in Chile, is a montage of different houses allotted detail vineyard.

www.donmelchor.com

About VCT Brazil:

The VCT Brazil, the Group’s subsidiary and distributor Concha y Toro, the country represents all products of wineries Concha y Toro, Fetzer and Trivento. Founded in 1883, Concha y Toro is the leading Chilean winery and one of the largest producers and exporters world of wine. Its products are sold in 135 countries, and Concha y Toro is among the ten largest wine companies in the world. It has 9,300 acres of vineyards, which ensures quality in its wine production. The Trivento Bodegas y Vineyards is a result of the Group’s expansion Concha y Toro to Argentina in 1996.With growth above the industry trans-Andean, the Trivento ranks fourth in the ranking of Argentine wine exports.