While not typically a region that I focus on, I wanted the chance to write about one of the superstar wineries of Chile. Montes has been producing wine since 1987. Founded by Aurelio Montes and Douglas Murray, in 1988, they joined up with the other two founders, Alfredo Vidaurre and Pedro Grand, to found Montes under the name Discover Wine. Montes wines essentially went from nowhere to more than 100 countries worldwide. They have been a huge export hit in North America, with Costco being one of the largest sellers of Montes wines. I’ve had bottlings of their ‘Alpha’ series back roughly 15 years and have been consistently impressed with their quality to price ratio. Some of these Montes Alpha bottlings are in the $15.00 range and tend to exceed the quality of most wines in that price point.
Their current offerings were some excellent values. In particular their 2014 Montes ‘Twins’ Red Blend (WWB, 89) is a ten dollar great value wine that shows nice range and complexity. Their 2013 Montes ‘Alpha’ Cabernet (WWB, 90) shows nice richness and balance that the ‘Alpha’ line is known for. The superstar of the group was the 2010 Montes ‘M’ Red Wine (WWB, 94) which shows incredibly depth, terroir and complexity. Some of these wines can be found at Costco or at large wine shops like Total Wines, BevMo and Esquin. Learn more about Montes at http://www.monteswines.com/. Here are the great new releases by Montes.
2016 Montes 'Cherub' Rose- This wine starts with aromas of rose petals, red cherry, dill and red raspberry. There are bright flavors of guava, pink grapefruit, kumquat and red raspberry. Slightly astringent but lively wine that is perfect for a hot summer day. Drink 2016-2020-89
2016 Montes 'Spring Harvest' Sauvignon Blanc-This wine begins with aromas of white pepper, Serrano pepper, and white peach. This leads to bright flavors of gooseberry, kiwi, white grapefruit and Meyer lemon that sit alongside lively minerality. This is exceedingly refreshing. Drink 2016-2020- 89
2014 Montes 'Classic Series' Merlot-The Merlot has 15% Cabernet blended in for structure. This wine begins with aromatics of smoked meats, creosote, black olive and black cherry. There are flavors of black cherry, mocha, and black olive and anise. This is a very solid effort from Montes. Drink 2016-2022- 88
2014 Montes 'Twins' Red Blend- This wine is a blend of 35% Cabernet, 30% Syrah, 25% Carmenere and 10% Tempranillo. The wine begins with aromatics of spicebox, anise, black olive, green bell pepper and blackberry. There are flavors of blackberry, mocha, cassis, and Turkish coffee. This has lovely depth and layers for the price. Drink 2016-2023- 89
2013 Montes Alpha Cabernet-This wine begins with aromatics of anise, pipe tobacco, cassis and blackberry. There are flavors of anise, cassis, wild blackberry pie, and coffee grounds. Really nice balance and structure. Drink 2016-2024- 90
2014 Montes 'Alpha' Pinot Noir- This wine starts with aromatics of smoke, black raspberry, pipe tobacco and suggestions of orange rind. There are bright flavors of black cherry, black raspberry, black truffle and cola with hints of citrus blossoms. Open and balanced, this is a great release from this estate. Drink 2016-2024-90
2010 Montes ‘M’ Red Wine- Aurelio Montes serves as head winemaker on this impressive wine. It is composed of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot from the Apalta estate in the Colchagua Valley which was aged 18 months in new French oak before bottling. The blended elements show through in the profoundly herbaceous aromatics of the wine as it begins with aromas of green bell pepper, Christmas spice, pipe tobacco and anise. In the glass, the wine develops deep favors of anise, spicebox, Turkish coffee and mocha which cascade through this dense, layered wine. This is drinking beautifully right now and should continue to evolve gracefully over the next decade and beyond. Drink 2016-2028- 94 (Reviewed Feb 2016)