Montes Alpha Series Carmenere 2011
Carmenere from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
Deep and live ruby red color. The wine has a very elegant and evident Carmenère typicity, showing lovely black pepper aromas with hints of red berries, chocolate, a bit of vanilla and black plums. In the mouth is distinctively smooth, with rounded and soft tannins. Long finish. The oak is beautifully integrated and balanced.
James Suckling - "A red with walnut shell and berry character. Hints of cloves and other spices too. Full-bodied, fruity and delicious plus a fresh finish. A pure carmenere that shows focus."
With the release of the first Montes Alpha wine back in 1988, Montes became one of the first premium wineries of Chile. Their premise, a clear belief that Chile had an untapped potential as a producer of quality wines, made them a benchmark for other wineries to follow. Its original four partners' total involvement and the continuous help of the angels that decorate their labels was key to their success. Two decades later, Montes is the fifth most important winery of Chile where Aurelio Montes continues leading the winemaking area with the same passion as the first day. Hard work and total focus on quality has led Montes to be one of the most successful and respected quality-driven wineries in Chile as they continue pioneering and breaking new grounds in wine. View all Montes Wines
About ChileView a map of Chile wineries (CHEE-lay)Long and thin, Chile has a lot of land north to south. The wine region here is a series of districts based near Santiago. The vineyards are protected by the Pacific on the west and the Andes mountains on the east. This could help explain why the climate changes more from east to west than north to south – also why the country has remained phylloxera free. Quite a few wineries in Chile were founded by large French wine companies. Seeing the potential of the country, vineyards were bought and planted by these French folks and the results tell of a smart investment. Some of these wineries include: Los Vascos, Casa Lapostolle and Cousino Macul. And while the inspiration may have been French, but the wines here are quite Chilean.
Photo of the sun break following morning fog over the vineyards of Veramonte Winery (located in the Casablanca Valley)
Notable FactsThe main regions of Chile include Maipo (pronounced MY-poh), known for reds like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere; Casablanca Valley, a region producing delicious Sauvignon Blanc, as well as other whites & some reds; Colchaugua, an inland district creating amazing red wines from Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, particularly in the Apalta sub-region; and Rapel Valley, settled right under Maipo and producing the same red varietals. A couple of smaller regions to watch include Limari and Elqui, two valleys further north, producing some delicious cool-climate Chardonnay and Bio Bio, an area further south, which is also focused on cool-climate varieties. Chilean wines are growing in exports and more consumers are enjoying the delicious values coming from the country. Red wines of the region, though they cannot be generalized, make the whole gamut of wine quality – quaffable to collectible. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Carmenere are the main players, though Syrah is also making a splash. Some of the best reds are blends of the above varieties. As for whites, Sauvignon Blanc is typically crisp, herbal and racy, while Chardonnay is richer in style with full-bodied texture and tropical fruit flavors.
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Young, organically farmed Carmenère at Chile's De Martino estate vineyard
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review3.53.7 out of 5 stars
5 ratings, 1 with review36/4/2016Markus.3107 - Pueblo, CO35/19/2016Avoss - Arvada, CO412/24/2014kbauman2 - Columbus, OH37/18/2014
- Earth & Spicy
Having lived in Chile off and on for years, it's a delight to be able to get Montes' Alpha Series--be it their Malbec, Cab, Syrah or Carmenere--so easily back here in the States. Definitely the best overall bottle of any Chilean red varietal in the $20 range. Their Malbec even stands out against ones on the other side of the Andes. Each vintage of Montes' Carmenere is consistent with the vitality of their vineyards, Deep ruby red, rustic but so smooth, just the right amount of typical Carmenere spice on the palette, flushed by juicy raspberries and chocolate, yummy but not too sweet to take away from the ernest earthen flavor that grounds the wine.
- Earth & Spicy