A brief jaunt down to the Southern Hemisphere today, as we bring you one of the stars of Chile. 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 selling their wines in 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.
Look no further than their outstanding new Carmenere release, the 2015 Montes ‘Alpha’ Carmenere (WWB, 92) which shows wonderful weight and tension as well as herbal quality that you want in great Carmenere. One of the great wines of Chile is the 2012 Montes ‘M’ Red Wine (WWB, 94) which shows wonderful terroir, richness and Bordelaise acidity. This gorgeous wine is one for the cellar. Learn more about this storied winery at http://www.monteswines.com Here are the great new release wines by Montes.
2014 Montes ‘Limited Selection’ Pinot Noir- Sourced from the Casablanca Valley, this translucent Pinot Noir begins with bright aromatics of black truffle, mint, forest floor and suggestions of baking spices. Lithe and poised, this brings cran-pomegranate, red cherry preserve and orange rind flavors that sit alongside some great minerality. Enjoy this excellent wine over the next decade. Drink 2017-2025- 90
2014 Montes ‘Alpha’ Pinot Noir- Sourced from steep mountain vineyards on the Aconcagua Coast, this wine begins with aromas of thyme, wild mushroom and forest floor with cherry cola. Lithe and balanced, this shows red fruit flavors alongside lovely structure. This finishes long with cherry cream. Enjoy this excellent wine over the next decade. Drink 2017-2027- 91
2014 Montes ‘The Twins’ Red Wine- This is a compelling blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Carmenre by Montes. Spicebox, red cherry, dill and cedar aromatics with smoke coat the glass. The herbaceousness is really nice here. Dill, green bell peppper, black cherry and mocha flavors impress. This has pretty serious range and texture considering the price point as this is an outstanding value by Montes. Drink 2017-2022- 89
2014 Montes ‘Alpha’ Carmenere- This deep hued wine begins with aromatics of creme de cassis, mocha, mint and green belll pepper. The herbaceousness is really lovely here. The rich texture coats the mid-palate. Milk chocolate, coffee grounds, red bell pepper, red cherry and wild blackberry pie flavors impress. This has tremendous range and shows off wonderful terroir. Drink 2017-2024- 92
2015 Montes ‘Alpha’ Carmenere- Showing an extremely deep core, this wine begins with intense aromas of red bell pepper, exotic spices, red cherry preserves and suggestions of milk chocolate. The weight and mouthfeel here is really gorgeous. Plush black cherry, red currant, milk chocolate, green bell pepper and baking spice flavors coat the mid-palate. This finishes long. This is an outstanding effort by Montes. Drink 2017-2027- 92
2012 Montes ‘Folly’ Syrah- Sourced from the Colcachgua Valley and the Raphel Valley, the wine was aged foe 18 months in new French oak prior to bottling. This has a brooding, dark color and needs more than an hour in the decanter to settle. Slowly unwinding, the wine begins to develop intense aromatics of Chinese black tea, red bell pepper, sweet pipe tobacco and red cherry cough syrup. The generous mouthfeel impresses. Black olive, milk chocolate, black cherry preserves and boysenberry cordial flavors show excellent range. The weight is intense but the wine maintains a strong minerality. As the wine continues to develop in the decanter it becomes increasing difficult to put down. Seductive and deep, this layered beauty will cellar well for a decade or more. Drink 2017-2027- 94
2012 Montes ‘M’ Red Wine- The 2012 ‘M’ by Montes was aged for 18 months in new French oak prior to bottling. The wine needs more than an hour decant to show its stuff. An outstanding blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot, the wine begins with aromatics reminiscent of green bell pepper, sagebrush, Catalan green olive and suggestions of baking spices with wild blackberry. The herbal quality on the nose is hugely prominent and gives you a wonderful sense of place. Silky smooth on the mid-palate, the wine begins with yield dark fruit flavors that connect with roasted figs and milk chocolate shavings. Plush and downright delicious, enjoy this wine over the next 15-20 years. Drink 2017-2030- 94