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Montes Purple Angel Apalta Vineyard Carmenere 2012

Carmenere from Chile
  • JS95
  • WS93
  • WE92
  • W&S92
14.5% ABV
  • JS99
  • JS98
  • WW96
  • WS93
  • RP92
  • JS97
  • WE92
  • WS91
  • W&S91
  • JS97
  • WS93
  • RP91
  • RP93
  • WE91
  • WS90
  • RP94
  • WS91
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4.0 6 Ratings
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4.0 6 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Intense carmine red in color with tremendous aromatic potency. Complex and bursting with character. Ripe red and black fruits such as plums, blackberries, strawberries, and cherries predominate on the nose, complemented by aromas of pastries and nutmeg with a touch of cinnamon and jam. The contribution of French oak is distinguished by a delicate aroma of caffe latte, toffee, and caramel followed by notes of toast from the first-use oak. The palate is nicely balanced with very well-rounded tannins and an outstanding central nerve from the Petit Verdot. This is a creamy wine with a sensation of flavors that echo its aromas and lead to a long and seductive finish.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 95
James Suckling
This is a beautiful long and silky red with blackberry and blueberry character plus hints of spices and black pepper. Rose petal too. Full-bodied, yet so fine and gorgeous. It's so drinkable and refined now, but complex and fascinating. Stylish. 92% carmenere and 8% petit verdot. Drink or hold.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Suave and plush, with a broad, open texture that transmits a spicy array of dark cherry, currant, blackberry and cocoa powder notes. Very creamy, with silky tannins on the finish of Asian spice and chocolate. Drink now through 2022.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
As per usual, Purple Angel is a full-force experience. Hailing from a warm year, this is dense and purple in color, as it should be. Aromas of graphite, oak, tobacco and black fruit set up a jammy, full palate with saturated flavors of spice-laden blueberry and boysenberry. Finishing notes of tobacco, herb and oak cement this big-boned wine’s ripe, beefy status.
W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
A little petit verdot adds structure to this carmenere, framing the fruit and providing a foundation that shows off the gentle juiciness of the variety grown in Marchigue.
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Montes

Montes

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Montes, 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.

One of South America’s most important wine-producing countries, Chile is a reliable source of both budget-friendly wines and premium bottlings. Spanish settlers, Juan Jufre and Diego Garcia de Cáceres, most likely brought Vitis vinifera (Europe’s wine producing vine species) to the Central Valley of Chile some time in the 1550s. But Chile’s modern wine industry is largely the result of heavy investment from the 1990s.

Long and narrow, Chile is geographically isolated, bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Andes Mountains to the east and the Atacama desert to the north. These natural borders allowed Chile to avoid the disastrous phylloxera infestation in the late 1800s and as a result, vines are often planted on their own rootstock rather than grafted (as is the case in much of the wine producing world).

Chile’s vineyards vary widely in climate and soil type from north to south. The Coquimbo region in the far north contains the Elqui and Limari Valleys, where minimal rainfall and intense sunlight are offset by chilly breezes from the Humboldt Current. While historically focused solely on Pisco production, today this area finds success with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Aconcagua region contains the eponymous Aconcagua Valley—hot and dry and home to full-bodied red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot—as well as Casablanca Valley and San Antonio Valley, which focus on Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The Central Valley is home to the Maipo, Rapel, Curicó and Maule Valleys, which produce a wide variety of red and white wines. Maipo in particular is known for Carmenère, Chile’s unofficial signature grape. In the up-and-coming southern regions of Bio Bio and Itata make excellent Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Carmenere

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Dark, full-bodied and herbaceous with a spicy kick, Carménère found great success with its move to Chile in the mid-nineteenth century. Far from its birthplace of Bordeaux, Carménère once accompanied Malbec and Petit Verdot as a minor blending grape there. But the variety went a bit undercover, impressing wine lovers until 1994 when many plantings previously thought to be Merlot, were profiled as Carménère. Regardless of what vine variety it actually was, these have proven successful and plantings continue to increase.

In the Glass

Carménère can express a bit of herbaceous character or black pepper but in warm climates or with additional hangtime before harvest, it makes wines reminiscent of blackberry, blueberry and dark plum, with rich and savory notes of chocolate, coffee, smoke and soy sauce.

Perfect Pairings

Carménère makes a great match for a hearty steak or barbecued red meat. It can also work well with white meat when prepared with a mole sauce or spice rub.

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.

YNG676921_2012 Item# 137771