[Image from the Concha y Toro collection]
From Concha y Toro’s Fine Wine Collection; the top of this line ~ The Gran Reserva Serie Riberas.
The winemaker for this series is Mario Miranda, who has a degree in Agricultural Engineering with a mention in Enology from the Universidad de Talca. A true global winemaker, Mario’s international experience includes technical travels to California, South Africa, Australia, France, Italy, and Spain.
When I have a bottle of Concha y Toro in my hands, I know I’ve hit it big… The wines are consistently delicious. And, if I’m in a wine shop and I’m faced with choosing a wine, especially in unfamiliar territory, with a Concha y Toro wine facing me, I have no about about what to choose. This is my go to wine, when I want something exotic and flavorful. Concha y Toro have it down to a perfect science. They are known worldwide as a wine that is well trusted.
The Gran Reserva Series includes their top-of-the-line wines. The ones that I’ve tasted below proved to be just as they wanted this line to be, the best of the best; ones that will have you being the life of the party, when you walk through the door with one of these wines in tow.
- 2015 Gran Reserva Serie Riberas Sauvignon Blanc
- It’s amazing to me that Chile parallels New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc in so many ways. It has a fragmented bouquet of apricot and lycheenut, with added lemon zest that leads to a smooth finish.
- Distinct flavors of grapefruit and a lemon zest.
- A well-balanced Sauvignon Blanc Claw Factor of three claws.
- ORIGIN: Grapes were grown in the Ucúquer Vineyard, on a south bank of the Rapel River.
- SOIL: Granitic, sandy-loam, poor in organic material with good drainage.
- CLIMATE: Semi-arid coastal climate influenced by the Rapel River and Pacific Ocean.
The winemaker for these two red wines is Marcio Ramírez, who had a degree in Enology from the Universidad de Chile. Marcio joined Concha y Toro in 1997. From 1998 to 2000, he worked with Enrique Tirado, at the Puente Alto winery. He was the assistant winemaker for Don Melchor, and then he moved to the Cachapoal winery in the Rapel Valley. Today, he’s now their head winemaker.
- 2014 Gran Reserva Serie Riberas Carmenere
- This wine is deliciously rich on the nose, the black fruit flavors are typically Chilean, with touches of pepper spice and delicate violets linger with this wine. When I think of Carmenere wine as a variety, I now think Chile. This is thanks to Concha y Toro. They’ve defined it for me.
- ORIGIN: Peumo Vineyard North bank of the Cachapoal River.
- SOIL: Deep, clay loam soils.
- CLIMATE: Mediterranean with a long dry season whose warm daytime temperatures, especially in spring and autumn, are moderated by the influence of the nearby Cachapoal River and Lake Rapel.
- 2014 Gran Reserva Serie Riberas Cabernet Sauvignon
- A very savory Cabernet, this wine is a full-bodied, muscular Cabernet. Get ready for tons of black fruit and enough tannins to go really well with your favorite cut of beef. Get meats with lots of marbleized grains of fat, and it will be a smooth ride.
- It has a great tannic structure, and will age well, if that’s what you’d like to do with it.
- The grapes for this wine come from the Palo Santo Vineyard, on the south bank of the Tinguiririca River.
- SOIL: Red clay of granitic origin.
- CLIMATE: Mediterranean with a long dry season where the influence of the Tinguiririca River and coastal breezes moderate temperatures.