Don Melchor, Chile’s first icon wine and a true benchmark among high-end wines around the world, now releases its 2019 vintage. It is a faithful reflection of its origin, Puente Alto, and the rigorous work behind it, which stems from the profound dedication that the enological and agricultural team led by technical director Enrique Tirado have for understanding every detail of its terroir.
The Don Melchor Vineyard, located in the Puente Alto denomination of origin in the Alto Maipo Valley, is world-renowned for its unique conditions on the northern terrace of the Maipo River at the foot of the Andes Mountains, 650 meters above sea level. Most of the 127-hectare vineyard is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon (90%), while the rest is divided among Cabernet Franc (7.1%), Merlot (1.9%), and Petit Verdot (1%). The vineyard currently averages 35 years in age.
The 2019 vintage is composed of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot and spent 15 months in French oak barrels, 72% new and 28% second use. The final result is a very refined blend with tremendous aromatic complexity and fruit expression as well as ultra-fine tannins and magnificent body and structure.
“This vintage is very much in line with the 2018. In both vintages, the balance between elegance and energy predominates in the expression of the wines”, explained Tirado.
The season was slightly warm and dry, with an average temperature of 18.2°C between January and April, which is close to the 18.0°C average in a normal year. The weather was warm from spring through mid-summer, which is ideal for the development of the shoots and bunches, encouraging the accumulation of color and flavors in the grapes. The final two months, March and April, were colder than usual, which is also perfect for ripening and conserving all of the aromas and flavors in the bunches. The temperatures remained cool throughout the harvest and resulted in grapes with excellent fruit expression and an extraordinary balance between freshness and ripeness.
Precipitation was lower than the historic average and reached a total of 161 mm, primarily concentrated during the winter months of June and July.
This new vintage is further evidence that Enrique Tirado and the entire team behind this great wine have the knowledge and ability to find the perfect balance between the energy of the vineyard’s expression and the elegance that is so characteristic of the Puente Alto terroir.