PL Award 1: SILVER - IWC 2016
PL Award 2: SILVER - SWA 2016
Country: Chile Region: Colchagua Valley Vintage: 2013
Category: Red Wine Color: Red
"The Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon, first produced in 1987, broke the mould for premium wines in Chile. It was a modern expression of a classic grape which illustrated that Chile could produce wines that stood shoulder to shoulder with what their competitors around the world were making. Since then, Alpha has gone from being a single wine to being the core range in the Montes portfolio. The grapes and sites are carefully selected each year in order to ensure varietal integrity and complexity. Viticulture is hands on and individual rather than mechanical and industrial and the Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Malbec, Merlot and Syrah sites are irrigated via a 'Sustainable Dry Farmed' system, developed by Aurelio and his team, which allows for extremely precise and minimal irrigation, reducing their water footprint by 65%. This approach reduced yields and resulted in smaller bunches and berries, which in turn resulted in wines with deeper colour and more depth, flavour and structure.
The result is a range of wines that offer superb value within the premium wine market - whether from Chile or anywhere else. The Alpha Chardonnay is ripe and melony, while the Pinot Noir, from grapes close to the coast rather than inland (where Sena is made), is fragrant and supple, a classic expression of cool climate Pinot. The fuller reds, which need of greater ripeness, are all from Colchagua, an area that Aurelio Montes has long pioneered. The Merlot is ripe and fleshy, while the Cabernet is full yet refined. The Carmenere has plenty of tobacco and supple and grainy tannins, while the Malbec is a superb example of this variety from Chile. The Montes Alpha Brut is a traditional method sparkling wine of outsanding value, made with 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay and shows elegant aromatics of ripe citrus fruit, blossom and toast alongside a creamy yet crisp finish."
Winemaker: Aurelio Montes Baseden
The grapes come from Montes' vineyards in Apalta and Marchigüe. The sites are irrigated via a 'Sustainable Dry Farmed' system which allows for precise and minimal irrigating, reducing their water footprint by 65%. In Apalta, vines are planted on 45° slopes, providing good exposure for ripeness. Cool ocean breezes and low night-time temperatures moderate this warm area, allowing for retention of varietal aromas and acidity. Marchigüe is cooler and lies in the rain shadow of the Coastal Range, reducing the threat of fungal disease and resulting in consistently healthy harvests. All grapes were hand harvested.
The grapes were cold soaked at 10°C for five days to extract aroma and colour. The grapes were then fermented in stainless steel tanks for 12 days and kept on their skins to give structure and colour. After malolactic fermentation, 55% of the final blend was aged in French oak barrels (1/3rd of them new) for 12 months to add complexity and roundness to the wine.
Potent notes of ripe red fruit, cherries in syrup, blackcurrants and a stewed fruit character. Notes of dairy, a hint of nutmeg, rich toast and a touch of tobacco intermingle with its fruity character. The palate is well balanced with round tannins, good structure and a long, elegant finish.
Food Suggestion: An excellent match for red meats; Mongolian beef, pork ribs, pan roasted veal chops and dark chocolate.
Closure: Stelvin Lux ABV:14.3% Acidity [g/l]: 5.4