Montes ‘Alpha’ Carmenère 2018
Grape Varietals: 90% Carmenère & 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
Growing Region: D.O. Colchagua Valley - Chile
Owner / Winemaker: Aurelio Montes
4 Stars ★★★★
This Montes 'Alpha' Carmenère is a pioneering style, made from selected grapes grown in the Colchagua Valley, sourced from their Marchigüe and Apalta vineyards, irrigated according to the ‘Water Saving Winegrowing’ system that Aurelio Montes and his team have developed over several years of detailed research. This system allows them to determine the precise amount of water needed for each vineyard after the winter rains.
Especially in particularly dry years when irrigation is essential. This has enabled Montes to reduce their irrigation water usage by 65% - while simultaneously improving the quality of their fruit. The vineyards in the Apalta area are highly influenced by the Tinguiririca River moderating temperatures and the surrounding soil types. In the case of Carmenère, the vineyards are planted on flatter zones, where the soil is deeper and has moderate moisture retention. Marchigüe is flat with low hills and moderate slopes. Its soils are shallow, with medium clay content and a high capacity for water retention.
2018 was another testing growing season, but the team as always were very attentive to berry flavours across their vineyards, carefully planning harvest times with no rain during the harvest period. Overall, they were happy with the ripe grape tannins, a good spectrum of fruit acidity, rich aromatics, and generous palate flavours. As each of the ripe fruit parcels arrived at the winery, they were individually vinified with controlled traditional fermentation techniques. Then 55% of the wine was aged for 12 months in new, 1 and 2-year-old French oak barrels to give added structure.
• In the glass you will be greeted by a dark red colour with a violet hue. The aromas have a complex elegance. showcasing ripe red and black fruits all nicely infused with bitter chocolate, mocha-coffee and subtle spice notes. The palate is generously balanced, with a heart of French oak complementing the rich, earthy fruit profile, while adding a sensation of direction. A classic expression of Carmenère character and typicity, with acidity that is well balanced with the generosity of dark fruits, and velvet tannins which lead to a memorable finish.
This 2018 Montes ‘Alpha’ Carménère has 14.5% Alc./vol. - made in a dry style. Mild decanting for 20-30 minutes and serve in a generous glass at 16° - 18°C.
CELLARING POTENTIAL: *(Review 10/10/20)
With mild decanting, drinking well this season; and will age well for another 6 - 7 years.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine pairing with bbq’d red meats, stir-fried beef and vegetable, earthy pasta with a rich sauce, classic pizzas’, mushroom ravioli and aged, hard cheeses - enjoy.