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Montes Alpha Colchagua Merlot

Colchagua Valley

Montes Alpha

Montes was established in 1988 by Aurelio Montes, Douglas Murray, Alfredo Vidaurre and Pedro Grand, with the aim to produce the best wines in Chile from the best regions...

We have long admired Montes and what they have done for Chilean wine over the past 25 years. Their wines are consistently good because they are meticulous throughout the entire production process.

The Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon, first produced in 1987, broke the mould for premium wines in Chile. Since then, Alpha has gone from being a wine to being 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 and individual rather than mechanical and industrial. The result is a range of wines that offer superb value within the premium wine market – whether from Chile or anywhere else.

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The Merlot grapes come from Montes‘ own vineyards in Marchigüe located in the Colchagua Valley. As with other regions in Chile, the ocean plays a role even at 25km away, with cool breezes moderating this warm area. In addition, Marchigüe is dry, lying in the rain shadow of the Coastal Range with low fungal disease pressure resulting in consistently healthy harvests. All grapes were hand harvested.

Vintage information

The 2011 vintage in the Colchagua Valley was marked by a notably cool growing season and belated spring. The result of this was an exceptionally late harvest, with picking commencing two to three weeks later than average. Though this posed ripening challenges for growers, these cooler temperatures produced highly aromatic wines with excellent acidity and concentration. While yields were down, the overall quality of fruit was outstanding and the resulting wines are well balanced and elegant.


The grapes were cold soaked at 10°c for seven days to extract aroma and colour. After that, the grapes were fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks for eight-10 days and then kept on their skins for another 15-20 days to give structure and colour. After malolactic fermentation, 55% of the final blend was aged in French oak barrels (25% new and the rest second fill) for 12 months to add complexity and roundness to the wine.  

Tasting Notes

This Merlot has a deep ruby red colour with aromas of plums, blackberries and vanilla. The palate has plush tannins, crisp acidity, integrated oak and a lingering black fruited finish. Simply delicious.

Vintage information

Vintage 2011
Grape varieties 90% Merlot
10% Cabernet Sauvignon
Region Colchagua Valley
Winemaker Aurelio Montes Baseden
Alcohol (ABV) 14%
Acidity 5.48g/l
Residual Sugar 3.25g/l
Wine pH 3.37