Montes ‘Purple Angel’ Carmenère 2015
Grape Varietals: 92% Carmenère & 8% Petit Verdot
Growing Region: D.O. Colchagua Valley - Chile
Owner / Winemaker: Aurelio Montes
This 2015 Montes ‘Purple Angel’ is crafted from Carménère - the once long-lost grape. Recently rediscovered (identified in 1994 to be precise) in Chile after thought to be extinct, from its original home in Bordeaux - France. This is a stunning expression showcasing the rich characters of Carménère. In Chile many winemakers consider it their ‘signature’ grape varietal, and some even call it the ‘Jurassic’ grape - and has returned from the past.
The 2015 growing season was relatively balanced in terms of fruit development of phenological ripeness. Enough rain during winter and temperatures were particularly high during summer. Grapes reached harvest without any problems and with well-balanced flavours.
The vineyards selected for this ‘Purple Angel’ Carménère are located in the Marchigüe and Apalta sectors of the Colchagua Valley. The soils have granitic origins with varied clay content, and stones of fluvial and glacial origin, which reflects the tremendous diversity of soils in their vineyards. The Carménère vineyards are preferably planted on the flatter zones of the region, where the soils are deeper and has moderate moisture retention. The vineyards are double guyot trained for a moderate yield cropping levels and producing fruit with ideal flavour development.
The fruit parcels were harvest between the 7th - 15th May. After careful, respectful pressing and individual vinification. Once deemed ready by Aurelio, 100% of the components were then aged for approximately 18 months in new French oak barrels. After maturating and developing its complex layers and personality, so as to showcase the wines rich character - the wine only had moderate filtering retaining a nice texture and breath on the palate.
As you pour this wine into your glass, you will be greeted by an impressive deep purple-red colour and bright hue. On the nose you have elegance with inviting ripe red and black berries with an undercurrent of freshly dried spices. These then lead onto dark chocolate and mocha notes from time in French oak all combining perfectly showcasing the variety's characteristic rich aromas.
All this resulting in a wine with tremendous aromatic complexity and carrying these layers of delicious impressions onto the palate that is well structured and with ample tannins. The natural acidity from the Petit Verdot lends unique qualities to lift and give definition of these rustic characters. With the intensity and generosity of the fruit, naturally balanced acidity and supportive oak, you have all of the components for excellent tertiary development and exceptional aging potential. Don’t be surprised by the wines elegant finish, which is very much in sync with its aromas - signing moments into your memory.
This 2015 Montes ‘Purple Angel’ Carmenère has 15% Alc./vol. If opened in the next 18-24 months, I would encourage decanting of 35-45 minutes and serve in a large glass at 16°- 18°C.
Carmenère a once lost grape, but this exceptional expression will never be forgotten.
CELLARING POTENTIAL: *(Review 13/8/18)
Drinking with moderate decanting this season; plus, able to age well for another 12-15 years.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine pairing with prime red meats, seasoned lamb with a wine-jus, game dishes, rich well-seasoned pasta dishes, earthy vegetarian cuisine and pâté on toast - enjoy.