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Montes Alpha Series Carmenere 2009

Carmenere from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
  • RP91
14.5% ABV
  • JS90
  • WS90
  • JS92
  • W&S91
  • JS90
  • WE91
  • RP91
  • WE91
  • RP91
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Deep and live ruby red color. The wine has a very elegant and evident Carmenère tipicity, 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. The grapes come from our Arcangel Estate located at the very West of Colchagua valley

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Alpha Carmenere contains 10% Cabernet Sauvignon in its makeup. The fruit was sourced from a cool micro-climate near the Pacific Ocean which provides the long growing season Carmenere seems to require. It was aged for 12 months in a mix of new and used French oak before bottling without filtration. It offers up a brooding bouquet of wood smoke, herbs, spices, incense, violets, and assorted black fruits. This is followed by a rich, savory, incipiently complex wine that will benefit from another 2-3 years of bottle age. Drink this tasty effort from 2013 to 2021.
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Montes

Montes

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Montes, Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
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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.

Colchagua Valley

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Well-regarded for great values in bold red wines, the Colchagua Valley is situated in the southern part of Chile’s Rapel Valley, with many of the best vineyards lying in the foothills of the Coastal Range. Here, hundred-year-old vines are juxtaposed with cutting-edge technology in both the vineyard and the winery, and French investment has been a boon to the local viticultural industry. The textbook Mediterranean climate makes winegrowing almost effortless.

The warm, dry growing season in the Colchagua Valley favors robust reds made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Malbec, and Syrah. A small amount of white wine is produced from Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Carmenere

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Dark, full-bodied, and herbaceous with a spicy kick, Carménère has found great success in Chile, far from its birthplace of Bordeaux. Although Carménère once accompanied Malbec and Petit Verdot as a minor blending grape in Bordeaux, it is now virtually extinct there, though it has been thriving since the mid-nineteenth century in Chile. Originally mistaken for Merlot, it is now successful of its own accord and plantings continue to increase. It is bottled both on its own and as part of Bordeaux-inspired blends.

In the Glass

If not fully ripe, Carménère is often marked by a green, herbaceous character (think green bell pepper and green peppercorn), and expresses flavors of red berry and black pepper when just ripe. With additional hangtime at the end of harvest, it is reminiscent more of blackberry, blueberry, and dark plum, with rich and savory notes of chocolate, coffee, smoke, and soy sauce.

Perfect Pairings

Carménère can easily overpower lighter fare, but makes a great match for a hearty steak or barbecued red meat. It can also work well with white meat when prepared with a richer sauce such as mole.

Sommelier Secret

Perhaps Carménère’s herbal character can be explained in part by familial relations—due to the strange nature of grapevine breeding, Carménère is both a progeny and a great-grandchild of the similarly flavored Cabernet Franc.

CWC946891_2009 Item# 109222