As Earth Month winds down, I thought it was high time I got to a trio of wines from Chile’s oldest and largest winery, Concha y Toro. I was interested in these wines because of Concha y Toro’s commitment to sustainability. I’m a huge believer in supporting brands that are doing actual, meaningful things to lessen their impact on their surroundings – and sometimes to even help make the earth better for the future.
So let’s get to know Concha y Toro’s Gran Reserva series, shall we? Watershed preservation is what these wines celerate, and they all clock in at less than $20, putting them into my favorite category: affordalicious. But first, let’s take a peek at how you’ll actually be doing the planet a favor by choosing these wines!
First of all, Concha y Toro is a B Corp, which is way cool. To earn B Corp status, a company has to meet – and maintain – a very strict set of requirements that range from sustainable farming practices in the vineyards and sustainable processes in the winery, plus support for the local community and equitable treatment of employees by providing a healthy, balanced work environment. (If faced with a buying choice, and one company is a B Corp, I’m buying from the B Corp.)
Secondly, the Gran Reserva collection of wines is rooted in Concha y Toro’s commitment to sustainability and preservation of the local watershed. With water as Earth’s largest and perhaps most important natural resource, the vineyards from which these wines come are naturally irrigated by the nearby Rapel River and the Tinguiririca River (a tributary of the Rapel), which carry snowmelt from the mighty Andes Mountains to the vineyards. This all means that no additional water is used for irrigation – which does preserve the local watershed! So let’s taste.
Concha y Toro Gran Reserva 2021 Sauvignon Blanc ($16.99) This bouncy white wine offers that appealing, funky gooseberry aroma that Sauv B can be known for, evoking pungent, fresh green herbs. On the palate, this wine is a rolling wave of zingy lemon-lime minerality and nice acidity. There’s no oak, so it is crisp, fresh and sunny, making this wine an easy sipper. It would be great with butter-poached shrimp or fish, Gouda or Provolone cheese, or lemony pasta or risotto dishes. Rock on, Gran Reserva Sauv Blanc – you’ve turned yet another gloomy spring day in Chicago into a sunshine story in my mind!
Concha y Toro Gran Reserva 2019 Malbec ($16.99) Ooh weee… here we have all the raspberry compote, cherry pie filling and blackberry jam you could ever want in a Malbec, balanced with a hint of dark chocolate and a light dusting of fresh black pepper. It’s medium-bodied and both bright and bold at the same time. Tannins are well-integrated, and this wine would sing with barbecue, red meat, anything with bacon, sautéed mushrooms, or hard cheeses like aged Gouda or Grana Padano. I’d even have it with roasted chicken.
Concha y Toro Grand Reserva 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon ($16.00). Alright, so Cab is rarely my favorite wine, but I’m not gonna lie … this one was hard to put down. It offers up a smooth and silky texture slinking around a sexy fruit basket featuring ripe blackberries and juicy black plums joined by some cassis, and a tiny bouquet of dried violets. There’s a nice bouncy spice at the end that I love. Bright and buoyant in the mouth, there’s amazing energy to this wine. Really gorgeous and a super affordalicious value!
For more information, visit Concha y Toro or better yet – seek out these wines and drink up! Good for you, good for the planet – it’s a win win! (Or a wine-wine!)