Fine Wine

Style Edit: Concha y Toro unveils a precious new wine collection, Jewels of the New World, pairing its fine wines with gemstones according to their characteristics

Most associated with its home nation, Concha y Toro has 12,000 hectares of vineyards that also cover Argentina and the United States. The company was established back in 1883 – New World winemaking isn’t quite as young as you might expect. It’s Latin America’s largest wine producer, selling an incredible 30 million-plus cases a year, but it’s also home to a stellar line-up of wines at the very top end of the market.

Concha y Toro’s Jewels of the New World wines at the brand’s recent event

“We’re a winery with a lot of heritage, offering excellent-value wines at every price point,” says the company’s corporate export director, Asia, José David González L.

The numerous fine wine brands the company owns have long had a powerful presence in Asia, and the region now accounts for more than 40 per cent of its ultra-premium wine sales. However, in the past they were only sold as separate names – they have never been presented as a single entity and marketed together like this before. Gems were chosen as the unifying theme because that’s exactly what these wines are: extremely precious rarities that should be treasured.
“Gems have scarcity,” says Isabel Mitarakis Guilisasti, winemaker of Concha y Toro’s luxury brand division. “With this kind of wine, we also have scarcity. The gems all come from the Americas. We wanted to match them in terms of the attributes of the gems and the characteristics of the wines. For example, Amelia [chardonnay] is paired with lapis lazuli, which comes from the same valley [Chile’s Limarí Valley].”
Three of Concha y Toro’s Jewels of the New World wines, including the Amelia chardonnay, at the front

Perhaps the most iconic wine owned by Concha y Toro is the only one not included in Jewels of the New World. But then including a wine as famous as Don Melchor – a bold, oaky, complex beast long considered Chile’s leading cabernet sauvignon – could threaten to overshadow the other wines in the collection, and that would be a crying shame. Coming from a dazzling range of coveted terroir, those wines exhibit a remarkable diversity of characteristics.

There’s Trivento Eolo from Argentina, paired with topaz, where ancient malbec vines make wines with abundant fruit and a complex structure. From California, there’s Alea Fina, a classic refined Napa cabernet, with alexandrite as its stone; and the wines of Bonterra Biodynamics, represented by emerald, from a collection of extraordinary vineyards nestled in the mountains of northern California’s Mendocino County.
Guests recently had the privilege of tasting Concha y Toro’s wines at a Hong Kong event
Chile provides six other wines, including the iconic Amelia chardonnay. “We promote it as Chilean Burgundy: every time we have a tasting, people cannot believe this is from Chile,” says González. There’s Carmín de Peumo, one of the world’s finest carménères, paired with rhodochrosite; Concha y Toro Master Edition, a satisfyingly fruity, smoky expression of cabernet, represented by citrine, or yellow quartz; Gravas, making cabernets and syrahs on a coveted plot that exploits the gravelly terrain of the Maipo Valley, and associated here with aquamarine; Marques de Casa Concha Heritage, a Bordeaux blend from the same terroir as Don Melchor that’s twinned with brown quartz; and Terrunyo, with a cabernet and a carménère from Rapel Valley, whose stone is opal.
Musicians entertaining guests at Concha y Toro’s recent dinner in Hong Kong
For Hong Kong’s fine wine lovers, the collection presents wonderful pairing opportunities. Pairing wines with Cantonese food is a notoriously tricky business, given the symphony of flavours presented at a typical Cantonese table. Such is the diversity of the Jewels of the New World range, though, that a line-up of bottles from the collection should be a match for any set of flavour profiles. As González puts it, “We have wines that pair perfectly with everything.”

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