Montes Purple Angel Apalta Vineyard Carmenere 2016
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The complexity of this is something very special with dark berries, hot stone, iodine, and oyster shells. Full-bodied, very tight and polished with creamy tannins that envelop your palate, caressing every inch. Deep and dark fruit and wet earth at the finish. Drink or hold.
2016 was a "very complicated vintage" according to Aurelio Montes Junior, but what has emerged in the bottle is one of the best Purple Angels I can remember, all of it sourced from slopes. Marrying Carmenère with 8% Petit Verdot, this is floral and well balanced with subtle herbal undertones, fine tannins and attractive oak. 2023-30
Ripe berry aromas are supported by notes of coffee, mocha, smoldering charcoal and baking spices. A flush palate brings the fruit in quantity, while the flavors are all about quality and emphasize blackened, spicy blackberry, mocha and toast. Given that 2016 was a tough year for red wines in Chile, this is a big success. Drink through 2025.
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.
Well-regarded for intense and exceptionally high quality 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.
Heavy French investment and cutting-edge technology in both the vineyard and the winery has been a boon to the local viticultural industry, which already laid claim to ancient vines and a textbook Mediterranean climate.
The warm, dry growing season in the Colchagua Valley favors robust reds made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Malbec and Syrah—in fact, some of Chile’s very best are made here. A small amount of good white wine is produced from Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Dark, full-bodied and herbaceous with a spicy kick, Carménère found great success with its move to Chile in the mid-19th century. However, the variety went a bit undercover until 1994 when many plantings previously thought to be Merlot, were profiled as Carménère. Somm Secret— Carménère is both a progeny and a great-grandchild of the similarly flavored Cabernet Franc.