Apalta, Colchagua Valley, Chile
Adding the Montes wines to our portfolio in 2014 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 believe is the mark of the variety. 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 of their vineyards and the results were startling. Montes' own vineyards now cover 75% of their requirements. The other 25% of fruit is produced in vineyards that 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.
'Purple Angel', 'Folly', Alpha 'M' and 'Taita' are the pinnacle of Montes' premium winemaking. All four are critically acclaimed and highly sought after, with James Suckling scoring the past three Purple Angel vintages 98+ points. Each of the flagship wines are examples of the very best wine the country can produce.