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The global wine scene is dominated by wineries from Europe, led by the likes of France, Italy, and Spain. Quietly but surely creeping up is Chile. So it’s with great anticipation that we headed off to a masterclass to experience the diversity of Marques de Casa Concha wines, hosted by winemaker Pablo Pressac, ambassador of Viña Concha y Toro.




We learned from Pablo that Chile’s unique geography as the longest country in the world — it stretches over 4,200 km from the north to the southern tip near the Antarctica — provides the perfect environment for innovation in winemaking. Then there’s the Humboldt Current, a cold, low-salinity ocean current that flows north along the western coast of South America and blows cold winds against the Andes Mountain that separates Chile from Argentina. This natural phenomenon — Pablo shared an interesting trivia that this cold current attracts penguins to come into the Chilean coastal desert — creates microclimates across Chile’s narrow stretch of land that change the taste of wines that are made in exactly the same manner from the same grape varietal but grown in different regions.



Case in point is the Chardonnay Vintage 2016. The wine produced in the Limari Valley near the northern coast is distinctly sharper and more acidic, with a stronger hint of saltiness compared to that produced in Bio Bio Valley about 1,000 km further south. That one tasted more rounded and richer, even though the same grape varietal and process are used in the production of both wines.

Pablo explained how Chile’s extreme terroir shapes wine varietals, allowing winemakers to push the boundary of technology and innovation in winemaking. For example, many years ago, he wouldn’t have thought that Chardonnay could be grown in the Limari Valley, given its harsh conditions and limited water supply. He also stressed that wineries in Chile can almost harvest at will, even as late as in autumn, as Chile is less subjected to the challenges of weather changes faced by their European counterparts.




Marques de Casa Concha’s portfolio of single vineyard wines spans Chile’s immense range of soils and climates, from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Northern Limari Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah from the central Alto Maipo Valley; down to Carmenere in the southern Cachapoal Valley; and Merlot from the Maule Valley. 



We tasted the brand’s entire portfolio, including a new limited edition Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, both from the 2016 vintage and crafted with grapes from the Bío Bío Valley, one of Chile’s southernmost winegrowing zones. 


Kingfish Carpaccio


We particularly enjoyed the Pinot Noir Vintage 2016, lightly oaked for 12 months in French barrels, possessing a brilliant deep red colour with aromas of cherries and raspberries carrying smooth, rounded tannins — a perfect match for the delicate Kingfish Carpaccio.




The engaging tasting session also offered Oysters, Seared Duck slices and a Wagyu Burger to pair — all well executed by the charming Flute Restaurant located within the stately National Museum.

Other wines tasted included the Cabernet Sauvignon from Puente Alto & Pirque vineyards in Alto Maipo Valley and a Carmenere from Peumo vineyard in Cachapoal Valley, with notes of intense dark plums, black currants, and dark chocolate showing a firm tannic structure with a crisp bite of acidity.




Now we know why Chilean wines are getting noticed globally, especially when they are priced very competitively. Stock up before they get too popular. The Marques de Casa Concha line is available at leading stockists and retailers at varying prices, while the limited edition 2016 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are available exclusively through VCT Singapore’s private sales channel, with the price on request. For enquiries, please contact fazil.mohammad@vctwinegroup.com.sg.


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