Country: Chile Region: Colchagua Valley
Category: Red Wine Colour: Red Varietal: Carmenere
Montes was established in 1988 by Aurelio Montes, Douglas
Murray, Alfredo Vidaurre and Pedro Grand, with the aim of
producing the best wines in Chile from the best regions. The
Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon, first produced in 1987, broke
the mould for premium wines in Chile. Since then, Alpha has
developed to become the core range in the Montes portfolio. The
grapes and sites are carefully selected in order to ensure varietal
integrity and complexity. Viticulture is hands on rather than
mechanical or industrial.
The Carmenère grapes come from Montes' own vineyards in
Apalta and Marchigüe, arguably two of the finest sites in the
Colchagua Valley. The sites are irrigated via a 'Sustainable Dry
Farmed' system which allows for precise and minimal irrigating. In
Apalta, vines are planted on 45° slopes, providing good exposure
to achieve ripeness. Cool ocean breezes and low night-time
temperatures help to moderate this warm area, allowing for slow
ripening. Marchigüe is slightly cooler because of its closer proximity
to the ocean. Conditions are dry, with the region lying in the rain
shadow of the Coastal Range, reducing the threat of fungal
disease and resulting in consistently healthy harvests.
The grapes for this wine were cold soaked at 10°C for five days to
extract aroma and colour. Following this, they underwent
fermentation in temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks for 12
days and were then kept on the skins to impart structure and
colour. The wine was then matured for 12 months, with 55% of the
final blend in first, second and third-use French oak barrels.
A deep ruby red in colour, this wine has intense aromas of
blackberries, figs and dried plums with notes of nutmeg, black
pepper and dark chocolate. The palate is lush and full-bodied,
with soft tannins leading to a long, elegant finish.