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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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Currently Unavailable $64.99
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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.

A source of reliable, budget-friendly wines and, increasingly, more premium bottlings, Chile is one of South America’s most important wine-producing countries. Long and thin, it is largely isolated geographically, bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Andes Mountains to the east, and the Atacama desert to the north. These natural borders gave Chile the very favorable benefit of being the only country to avoid the disastrous phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s. As a result, vines can be planted on their own rootstock rather than grafted. Though viticulture was introduced to the country by conquistadors from Spain, today Chile’s wine production is most influenced by the French, who emigrated here in large numbers to escape the blight of phylloxera. These settlers have invested heavily in local vineyards and wineries.

Chile’s vineyards, planted mainly with international varieties, 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 to produce cool-climate 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 light-bodied Pinot Noir and cool-climate whites like 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, excellent cool-climate Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir are made.

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.

YNG676921_2012 Item# 137771