Montes ‘Alpha’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
Grape Varietals: 90% Cabernet Sauvignon & 10% Merlot
Growing Region: Apalta Vineyard, Colchagua Valley - Chile
Owner / Winemaker: Aurelio Montes
5 Stars ★★★★★
For more than 30 years Aurelio and Montes wines have been a leading light of Chilean winemaking, producing consistently outstanding quality Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from the famous Colchagua Valley and one of the most respected wines of Chile. Their very first wine release was a 1987 ‘Alpha’ Cabernet Sauvignon, and it changed the Chilean wine industry forever. Their 1987 vintage was singled out by the UK’s Wine Magazine as one of the best 10-year-old red wines in the world.
At the time, is was a very unique, elegant and even stylish wine, that showed the world, the level of excellence that Chile could achieve. Later this range was extended with other noble varietals and in their own right, very special wines from the Colchagua Valley.
Montes craft varietal honest and technically sound wines, and this Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon is a prime example. With this wine being vinified to exacting standards and to precise detail, extracting both ripe berry flavours and terroir characters - then a key portion of the wine being aged for 12 months in new and used French fine grain Allier oak barrels. The resulting wine is well balanced, with ripe fruit flavours, a good mouth feel, texture, and approachable in its youth, though will repay a few years further development.
The 2017 growing season, plus respectful vineyard management practices has produced fruit with well-balanced tannins, controlled levels of sugar and ideal fruit acidity, aromatic intensity, and tremendous colour throughout the bunches. The Cabernet Sauvignon fruit from both sites had good varietal expression, elegant, complex aromas and intense colour. After traditional fermentation techniques just over half the wine was then transferred into a mix of French oak barrels (ranging in age from 30% new, 1 - 4 years) for a period of around 12 months.
★ As you pour, you will be greeted by an intense violet-red colour and shining robe. On the nose you are quickly engaged by aromas of dark berries, accompanied by notes of cassis, dried herbs, peppers and a note of tobacco leaf. The palate is generous in volume and well balanced by lifted fruit acidity, intermingled with mint-chocolate and vanilla spice from its aging in French oak. All nicely wrapped in deft tannins that give just the right amount of breathy and length to an elegantly dry finish.
This 2017 Montes ‘Alpha’ Cabernet Sauvignon has 14.5% Alc./vol. Dry style. Decant for 30-45 minutes and serve in a generous red wine glass at 17º- 18ºC.
Drinking perfectly well this coming season; plus will repay another 5 - 7 years.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine pairing with prime red meats, rich pasta dishes with a good wine sauce, slow cooked lamb shanks, earthy rich vegetarian dishes, plus aged hard cheeses - enjoy.