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Montes Alpha Colchagua Carmenère

Colchagua Valley

Awards

  • Silver - Decanter World Wine Awards 2014

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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Vineyards

The Carménère grapes come from Montes‘ own vineyards in Apalta and Marchigüe, arguably two of the finest sites in the Colchagua Valley. 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 fruit development and retention of varietal aromas and acidity. 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. 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.

Vinification

The grapes 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 their skins to impart structure and colour. After malolactic fermentation, 55% of the final blend was aged in French oak barrels (1/3rd of them new) for twelve months to add complexity and roundness to the wine.  

Tasting Notes

This Carménère has aromas of blackberries, chocolate, vanilla and dried herbs. The palate is complex and concentrated with firm but round tannins, balanced acidity and a lingering finish.

Vintage information

Vintage 2011
Grape varieties 90% Carmenère
10% Cabernet Sauvignon
Region Colchagua Valley
Winemaker Aurelio Montes Baseden
Alcohol (ABV) 14%
Acidity 5.15g/l
Residual Sugar 3.25g/l
Wine pH 3.49