Montes Wines | Colchagua Valley
Established in 1987, Montes Wines is one of Chiles most important wineries and their Montes Alpha M, Montes Folly, Purple Angel and Montes Alpha, are some of the world's best known wines. One only has to taste the wines to realise why they are so admired and critically acclaimed. The Sauvignon Blancs are lifted and fresh, their varietal character derived from growing the grapes in the right place and picking them when they are ripe and not, as many in Chile seem to do, by picking them green in order to ensure an herbaceous character which displays what they believe is the mark of the variety. The Merlots, Malbecs and Cabernets all have lovely colour, intensity and definition supported by supple tannins; a rarity in Chile.
So how do they do it? Not surprisingly, in the vineyard. They learned, when they started producing Montes Alpha in 1987, that they needed balanced yields and to harvest when the grapes were ripe. They adapted these practices to all of their vineyards and the results were startling. Montes' own vineyards now cover 75% of their requirements. The other 25% of fruit is produced in vineyards that they have planted, cultivated and picked. In other words, they control everything except the ownership of the land. In addition to this control over the vineyard, they also sell in bulk what is not good enough to go into the bottles that carry their label. Having made the selection in the vineyard, they are able to make a further selection in the winery. The results are there for you to taste.
'Purple Angel', 'Folly', Alpha 'M' and 'Taita' are the pinnacle of Montes' premium winemaking. All four are critically acclaimed and highly sought after, with James Suckling scoring the past three Purple Angel vintages 98+ points. Each of the flagship wines are examples of the very best wine the country can produce.
The Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon, first produced in 1987, broke the mould for premium wines in Chile. It was a modern expression of a classic grape which illustrated that Chile could produce wines that stood shoulder to shoulder with their competitors around the world. Since then, Alpha has gone from being a single wine to being the core range in the Montes portfolio. The grapes and sites are carefully selected each year in order to ensure varietal integrity and complexity. Viticulture is hands-on and individual rather than mechanical and industrial.
The Outer Limits series is a showcase of exploration and innovation. Aurelio Montes’ passion for discovery lead him on a quest to find new sites. He wanted to push Chilean viticulture further in the premium direction by finding sites that hadn’t previously been planted. The 45 hectare Zapallar vineyard in the Aconcagua Valley was Montes’ first venture into the ‘outer limits’. It is seven kilometres from the sea, so cool nights and foggy mornings ensure a long growing season, making it ideal for Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Syrah.