This brand is one of the oldest and most consistently high-quality coming out of Chile. The label debuted in 1976, and its name set the bar very high. Marques de Casa Concha was the title conferred upon the Concha y Toro family by King Felipe V of Spain.
Those first wines were aspirational. However, it wasn’t until Marcelo Papa took on winemaking duties in the early ’90s that the brand started to fulfill its potential. Since then, Marques de Casa Concha has been a line of single-vineyard bottlings that rarely tip over the $15 price point but almost push through into a 90-point rating.
It’s one of the only brands I trust to work with Carmenere. That is largely due to the varietal fingerprint of this grape. Those notes of tobacco are extreme. They can easily push towards dirty-old-ashtray or wet-cigarette flavors which are a real turn-off. However, cooler high-altitude regions like Peumo –where this Carmenere is sourced from– can push that leafy note towards something closer to mint.
On the nose, a big whomp of dark fruit and smokey eucalyptus. The palate is elegant and muscular, with soft notes of chocolate pushing against velvet tannins and supple cassis. A savage and earthy finish adds some intrigue.