Country:Chile Region: Colchagua Valley Vintage: 2012
Varietal: Fortified Category: Red Wine Color: Red
"Adding the Montes wines to our portfolio in 2015 was the realisation of a long-held ambition, after many years of admiring what Aurelio Montes was achieving in Chile. Taste the wines and find out why we feel that way. The Sauvignon Blancs are lifted and fresh, their varietal character derived from growing the grapes in the right place and picking them when they are ripe and not, as many in Chile seem to do, by picking them green in order to ensure an herbaceous character which displays what they think is the mark of the varietal. The Merlots, Malbecs and Cabernets have lovely colour, intensity and definition, and supple tannins. This is rare in Chile.
So how do they do it? Not surprisingly, in the vineyard. They learned, when they started producing Montes Alpha in 1987, that they needed balanced yields and to harvest when the grapes were ripe. They adapted these practices to all their vineyards and the results are startling. Montes' own vineyards cover 75% of their requirements. The other 25% of fruit is produced on vineyards they have planted, cultivated and picked. In other words, they control everything except the ownership of the land. In addition to this control over the vineyard, they also sell in bulk what is not good enough to go into the bottles that carry their label. Having made the selection in the vineyard, they are able to make a further selection in the winery. The results are there for you to taste."
Winemaker: Aurelio Montes Baseden
Grapes are sourced from the best parcels from the 'Finca Apalta' in Apalta, arguably one of the finest sites for red wine grape growing in Chile. Vines are planted on 45° slopes providing good exposure to aid ripening. Even at 60km away, the ocean holds influence, with its cool breezes moderating this warm area. Low night-time temperatures further prolong ripening, allowing for the slow development and retention of varietal aromas and acidity. All grapes are hand harvested and yields are very small at 3.5-4 tonnes per hectare.
Grapes underwent a meticulous dual sorting process in the winery, once by machine using camera 'eyes' to reject less than perfect grapes and once by hand. Only perfect berries made the final cut for this wine. Fruit underwent cold soaking for 10 days to extract aroma and colour, before fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks for eight days. Following this, the wine spent 15-20 days on skins to enhance structure and colour. After malolactic fermentation, the wine was aged in 100% new French oak barrels for 18 months.
Elegance and potency are clearly perceived on the nose with a clear predominance of ripe red fruits such as cherries, plums and raspberries along with blackcurrant and liquorice in perfect balance with the contribution of vanilla, caramel and light toasted notes from its 18 months in new French oak barrels.
Food Suggestion: A highly recommended match for baked turkey, rib eye steak, sherry kidneys or duck confit.
Closure: Natural Cork ABV:14.7% Acidity [g/l]: 5.9