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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Concha Y Toro Wine Tasting


February 15, 2012

Forget the chocolates, flowers and jewellery, the perfect Valentine's Day present is a Wine Tasting with one of the most premier Wine Makers in the World - Concha Y Toro.

P.I.C.A (Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts) in Vancouver was the place to be last night as they hosted Sommelier Gabriel Salas from Concha Y Toro. 

Based in Santiago Chile, Concha Y Toro has a long legacy of wine making that dates back to the 1800's. With twenty one different vintages under their umbrella, there is definitely a wine for any taste.

Casillero Del Diablo (Literally the Devil's Cellars) to Don Melchor offerings have amazing price points and are as varied as the micro-climates in Chile itself.

The night started out with a light and crisp Sauvingnon Blanc from the Casillero Del Diablo label. A delightful little wine that would make a great appetizer wine as the taste is so delicate. Priced at $12.99, it's a bargain by far.

Next was a bright Chardonnay from the Marques De Casa Concha label.  It was bold, crisp and brilliant color. A nice nutty flavor balanced with the fruity after tones. Retailing at $19.99 it is a great wine to pair up with Roast Rabbit.

The first red wine of the evening was the Casillero Del Diablo Pinot Noir. Born out of the Casablanca Valley this red is pure, light and earthy. A fantastic offering for a small price of $13.99.

Next, one of my favorites of the night. Casillero Del Diablo presented Carmenere. With a blending of Merlot, Syrah and Carmenere varietals this wine stands boldly above the rest. The beautiful body and rich color were balanced by the sweetness of plum and berry. Another amazing bottle at $13.99   which would stand up nicely to a winter stew or a great steak on the barbecue.

Marques De Casa Concha was up again, this time with it's Merlot. The warmer climates in the Cachapoal Valley make this a big wine. It's deep luscious color doesn't hide its bold flavor. A wonderful wine to serve to any guests and priced nicely at $19.99.

What I would consider to be one of the 'must try' wines is the Terrunyo label Carmenere. With only a thousand cases made, this amazing wine is full of flavor and full bodied. Made of 95.5% Carmenere, 4.5% Cabernet Franc, it has a sharp and complex texture that needs a bold meat paired up. Roast venison and a glass of this wine is a decadent serving. Priced moderately at $34.99.

The evening winding down as Sommelier Gabriel continued his amazing presentation. Incredible photos of Chile, the vineyards (chaotically grown but working well) and the history behind Concha Y Toro. I especially enjoyed the commentary with regards to their continuing efforts for 'sustainability' and adapting to global climate changes. 

One of the best wines of the evening was the Serie Riberas Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvingnon. Deep red color, rich coffee aromas. This wine is rich, sweet and hearty. Aged fourteen months in both French and American Oak barrels and at a wonderful price of $19.99. A must have for any red wine lover.

Marques De Casa Concha was up for its last serving of the night. From the Maipo Valley this Cabernet Sauvingnon is accented nicely with blackberry and cherry. A concentrated flavor equal only to its lush purple color. A great wine for food or just an evening by the fire. Delightfully priced at $19.99, it's an easy purchase any time of year.

Finally, the night capped off with the stellar Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvingnon. Simply put, this is excellence in a glass. Coming from only seven blocks of vineyards, the glossy purple color shelters the sharp, and fruity texture of the wine. Made from 97% Cabernet Sauvingnon and 3% Cabernet Franc. This is the wine that says it all. Crisp, bold and hearty, a wine not for the casual red wine drinker. A serious wine with a serious flavor. Exquisitely priced at $79.99 and aged for fifteen months in French Oak. 

All in all, a wonderful evening of history, stunning photos and delightful wines. Ranked 2nd in the world in production size Concha Y Toro still has room to grow and put out even more astounding wines. 

For more information on Concha Y Toro you can visit their website:
@conchaytoro on Twitter

You can learn more about these wines and others with the classes offered at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts as well as any other classes on their website:

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