Chile is revered for wine and poetry. Long admired for its diversity of wines and high quality production, there is poetry in the vineyard, and in the bottle. At the vanguard of the Chilean wine industry, ambassador for the promotion of Chilean “designation of origin,” Marcelo Papa has coalesced taste of place with pride in place to extract the best expression of the Maipo Valley, and elegantly show the fruit of what this world class wine region is producing today through wines like the Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon.
Browsing the LCBO we find no shortage of entry-level wines on the shelves, but as Papa tells me, “If you want to discover Chile you have to go up in price.” In this he is not referring to blends, as wonderful as some may be, but the single varietal wines selected from the best of the region. These are the wines for which Papa has not only become world-renowned but which have promulgated the Maipo Valley Denominacion de Origen.
This 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon bursts forth a voluptuous concentration of flavours with silky smooth tannins that envelope the palate with a plum-y texture of dark berries. This is a sexy wine. One that is robust on its own and yet accessible and versatile for pairing. Between my palate and my mind the dialogue begins—which ingredients, which dishes would be enriched by this pairing. I would pair this with charcuterie or duck confit; marbled beef, like wagyu; pistachio- or cocoa-encrusted lamb chops; or even a flourless chocolate torte. In the meantime, on its own it is rapturous on the palate, and I am enjoying my glass.