Meet the Winemaker: Marcelo Papa

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to taste virtually with Marcelo Papa, Marques de Casa Cocha’s winemaker and Concha y Toro’s technical director. Concha y Toro is a winery that does not need an introduction since it is one of the most well-known wineries worldwide. Their Chilean Wines are exported almost everywhere in the world.

During the tasting, we had the opportunity to discuss how Marcelo Papa’s efforts in finding the exact microclimates for Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere have created success for Chile and the Marques de Casa Concha series. Of course, he stands on the shoulders of giants since the foresight of Concha y Toro’s founders has been vital to progress and taking Concha y Toro to such a recognition level.

Marques de Casa Concha Virtual Wine Tasting with Marcelo Papa

Marques de Casa Concha Virtual Wine Tasting with Marcelo Papa
Marques de Casa Concha Virtual Wine Tasting with Marcelo Papa

D.O. Valle de Limari.

First, we started the wine tasting with the Marques de Casa Concha Chardonnay D.O. Valle de Limari. I really loved how it compares with a French Chardonnay. A lot of influence on the French Style offering more reserved notes of fruit and stronger minerality. The Limari wine-producing area is located north of Santiago, in the Coquimbo wine region. The cooling breeze from the Pacific Ocean and on the other hand the semi-desertic climate, creates the perfect combination that makes it possible to grow Chardonnay that result with such distinct minerality and freshness.

Second, we continued with another varietal grown in D.O. Valle del Limari, Pinot Noir. It was my favorite of the tasting because is truly a remarkable expression. The cool climate in the area produces an outstanding wine that is fruit forward but with balanced and meaty tannins that are easy to savor and enjoy.

D.O. Peumo.

Third, the tasting flown with Marques de Casa Concha Carmenere 2020 ($24.99) Deep dark red, with intense notes of ripe plums, black currants, and dark chocolate, along with a firm tannic structure and pronounced acidity. This Carmenere is produced in Peumo Vineyard, in the Cachapoal Valley, one of Concha y Toro’s oldest and is the ideal microclimate for growing Carmenere, creating internationally renowned varietal wines. With a moderate climate and wide diurnal swings, the grapes ripen slowly and develop their intense berry, chocolate, bell pepper, and black currants flavors, which are the hallmarks of genuinely exceptional Carmenere. In addition, as part of a narrow longitudinal valley parallel to the Andes, the vines are protected from frost in spring and fall, extending the growing season so the tannins can develop and soften, creating elegant wines. 

When I asked Marcelo what he thought about the Renaisance of Carmere he stated that back in the day, in Chile the Carmenere was planted everywhere thinking that was the grape that was going to put Chile in high standars in the wine-world. Now they know Carmere is terroir sensitive and is important to note that we they had to find the ideal microclimate to produce outstanding results.

D.O. Valle del Maipo

Last but not least we finished with Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 ($24.99) Deep red with lush dark fruit such as cherry, black currant, and blackberry aromas with tar and smoke. The layers of flavors and structure is very smooth and the firm annins are silky with a lingering finish.

This Cabernet Sauvignon is produced in Maipo Valley, one of the oldest subregions in Chile, abutting the city of Santiago and just steps from the Andes Mountains. For Concha y Toro, the best sites are the Puente Alto and Pirque Vineyards, with rocky, alluvial hillsides providing multiple exposures, warm and dry days with cold nights, and rainfall mostly limited to the winter months. 

Meet the Winemaker: Marcelo Papa

Marcelo Papa -winemaker of Marques de Casa Concha
Marcelo Papa -winemaker of Marques de Casa Concha

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