100-Point Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 arrives in The Bahamas

Nassau, Bahamas – ‘Extraordinary!’ sums up an evening under the stars at a recent unveiling of award-winning Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon vintages 2016, 2017 and 2018 at a vertical wine tasting held at Graycliff. Each vintage was paired with a new menu of high-quality lamb and beef dishes chosen by hotelier Enrico Garzaroli.

New to The Bahamas, this luxury line from Viña Don Melchor, delighted the guests whose sentiments echoed those of James Suckling, considered one of the most influential wine critics in the world. Suckling awarded Don Melchor 2018 a solid 100-points making it first place in the top 100 wines of Chile and 12th place in the top 100 in the world. He rated Don Melchor 2017 at 99 points and the Don Melchor 2016 at 96 points.   
 

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A recent unveiling of award-winning Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon vintages 2016, 2017 and 2018 was held at Graycliff Restaurant at a vertical wine tasting. Each vintage was paired with a new Graycliff menu of high-quality lamb and beef dishes chosen by hotelier Enrico Garzaroli. Shown in the photo from left to right are Graycliff’s Enrico Garzaroli and Bristol’s Wines and Spirits portfolio manager, Gricelle Ladron de Guevara-Richmond at the launch.

Considered one of the longest-standing New World icon wines, Don Melchor has 31 vintages to its credit. “These are some of the top Cabernet Sauvignon wines and tonight we kept hearing from our guests that they were amazing,” said Gricelle Ladron de Guevara-Richmond of Bristol Wines and Spirits. “The Bahamian market tends to know about American brands like Duckhorn or Caymus. But wineries that are high-end from the Latin American origins are not as familiar in the Caribbean. Their brands are considered New World in our region and we’re happy to have Don Melchor in our portfolio for The Bahamas.” 

The winery is proud of its biodiversity and privileged location in Puente Alto that has been named one of the world’s best terroirs by Wine & Spirits. Guided sessions for the vertical tastings were led by winemaker Tomás Vial and a few of his colleagues over Zoom. Wine enthusiasts discovered the differences between the 3 vintages and the contributing factors of the variations which included the weather, the terroir and the winery’s unique plots in the Alto Maipo Valley, located at the bottom of the Andes mountains.  
 

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Paired with the Don Melchor vintage 2018, was an outstanding boneless Wagyu Short Rib, accompanied with carrots and placed on a bed of mashed potatoes. Photo by Azaleta Ishmael-Newry.

“We have 127 hectares divided into 7 parcels of Cabernet Sauvignon, with smaller parcels of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot,” said Vial. “Vintage 2016 marks the winery’s 30th vintage and the season was colder with a lot of rain. However, because of the soil’s proper drainage, we got a balanced ripeness. My impressions are a smooth, nice, elegant, soft and delicious wine.” To further explain the flavour of the vintage, Wine.com wrote, “Its frisky aromas and flavours of red fruits, black fruits, and just an accent of oak keep it balanced in all respects.”  

The Don Melchor 2016 was paired with a slow-roasted Brazil Picanha with a special sauce and tucked into a bun. “Graycliff is now serving this new sirloin cut and is a part of our new offering that was popular with the Churrascaria,” said Garzaroli. “The beef is from the belly of the sirloin, and we are the signature restaurant in New Providence offering this delectable Picanha.
 

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A waiter at Graycliff pours a Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon for a guest who attended the Bristol vertical wine tasting event.

Course two was tender roasted Colorado Lamb served with a sauce and an added Bahamian flair of yellow grits.  It was paired with the Don Melchor 2017 known for its high complexity of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc which Vial stated is much drier and was a perfect pairing with lamb.  

Wine Spectator’s description of the 2017 vintage called it “Smooth, complex and elegant, with fine tannins that support the flavours of cherry, red plum and currant. Notes of cedar and forest soil are observed on the middle palate.”  

For the final masterpiece, Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 was paired with an outstanding boneless Wagyu Short Rib, accompanied with carrots and placed on a bed of mashed potatoes. This dish will be a special order at Graycliff because of its 16 to 18-hour preparation time.

James Suckling’s extraordinary tasting notes describes the 100-point Don Melchor 2018 as “Amazing. The vibrancy and energy in this wine is stunning. The complexity of aromas is breath-taking with flowers, blackcurrants, raspberries and peaches. Full-bodied, yet ever so refined and polished with impeccable texture and beauty. The length is marvelous. This is a testimony to balance, harmony and transparency in a great red."  (Source: www.donmelchor.com).
 

Don Melchor is named after Concha y Toro’s founder. Their Cabernet Sauvignon vines average more than 30 years of age and correspond to a selection originally brought over from Bordeaux at the end of the 19th Century. (Source: www.donmelchor.com). These fine wines are available at Bristol Wines and Spirits - www.bristol.bs.
 
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Award-winning Don Melchor 2016, 2017 and 2018 wines were paired with a new menu of high-quality lamb and beef dishes chosen by hotelier Enrico Garzaroli. The Don Melchor 2016 was paired with a slow-roasted Brazil Picanha with a special sauce and tucked into a bun while the Don Melchor 2017 was paired with tender roasted Colorado Lamb served with a sauce and an added Bahamian flair of yellow grits. Photo by Azaleta Ishmael-Newry.