Friday, December 13, 2013

Luncheon with Marcelo Papa of Concho Y Toro, Chile

Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis and Concha Y Toro Lead Winemaker Marcelo Papa
On a spectacular Indian summer day in mid-October I joined fellow wine writers including the legendary Gerald Asher of Gourmet Magazine, whose column I followed from the beginning of my career, to meet with Concha Y Toro’s Lead Winemaker Marcelo Papa for lunch on a penthouse rooftop in San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill neighborhood.
Gerald Asher, with signature Suspenders

Winery Chef Ruth Van Waerebeek,

a well-known food ambassador for Chile who consults with Concha Y Toro in addition to her role as proprietor of the Mapuyampay Hostal Gastronomico & Cooking School south of Santiago, expertly paired the wines she knows so intimately with dishes that came alive with each sip.

Here is the menu:
Reception: Casillero del Diablo Coastal White 2012 and Red Blend 2011
Causa with octopus in olive salsa

Marques de Casa Concha Chardonnay 2011
Flash-cured tuna with citrus-fennel

Marques de Casa Concha Carmenère 2011
Risotto of quinoa with mixed mushrooms, Carmenère and Manchego cheese

Marques de Casa Cocha Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
Braised lamb in merlot wine, fresh tomatoes and sweet spices, almond basmati rice and cilantro chutney

Concha y Toro Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Passion fruit mousse with tropical fruit salad  and crème brulée de Lúcuma

Papa, the man behind the longstanding success of Concha Y Toro’s Casillero del Diablo range, said, “One month ago we had a very heavy Spring frost. Early ripening grapes including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot were the most affected. Casablanca and Leyda valleys were hit hard. Limari in the north had no frost at all. Frost killed the buds. We are waiting for a second bud. It might be good, or even better in quality. We won’t know until we start picking around the last week of February.” The country may lose 20% or more of its Chardonnay for the 2014 vintage.

Marcelo Papa is also the driving force behind the emergence of Limari Valley in the northern province of Coquimbo, known until recently more for its production of Pisco than for quality wine. He likes it for gentle Moscatos and crisper, European style Chardonnays, which describes perfectly his 2011 Marques de Casa Concha Chardonnay Single Vineyard Limari Valley $23. The Camanchaca fog from the Pacific clears in the morning yet the coastal proximity keeps things cool even in full sunlight. Papa does feel the area will become most well-known over time for Pinot Noir however.

© Copyright 2014 Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis, Planet Grape LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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