Montes was established in 1988 by Aurelio Montes, Douglas Murray, Alfredo Vidaurre and Pedro Grand, with the aim of producing the best wines in Chile from the best regions. The Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon, first produced in 1987, broke the mould for premium wines in Chile. Since then, Alpha has developed to become the core range in the Montes portfolio. The grapes and sites are carefully selected in order to ensure varietal integrity and complexity. Viticulture is hands on rather than mechanical or industrial. The result is a range of wines that offer superb value within the premium wine market.
The vineyards are in the Aconcagua Costa region, where the proximity to the Pacific Ocean and influence of cool sea breezes produce the perfect conditions to enable slow and full ripening. The variable sandy to sandy-loam soils lend complexity to the wine, with great cool-climate typicity. All the vineyards are vertically trained and drip-irrigated. The clusters are evenly distributed on the vines, which keeps the grapes well-ventilated and healthy.
2014 - 2015 began in September, with intense polar frosts. The Aconcagua Valley had the lowest temperatures, leading to a major reduction in yields. Once the frost had passed, budbreak and flowering occurred as usual. In spring alternating cloudy and sunny days, enabled good fruit set. Higher temperatures in early summer, coupled with the low yields meant harvest was several days earlier than usual. In March, no rain and low temperatures, allowed for gradual ripening. This created excellent aromas and flavours in our Chardonnays, which are very intense, with excellent acidity.
The grapes are hand-picked early in the morning then carefully selected and destemmed. The grapes are processed in one of three different ways - full-cluster pressed, destemmed then pressed, or cold-soaked for several hours. These techniques enable diverse extraction of aromas from the skins. The juice obtained from pressing and maceration is piped to a static decantation tank where it remains for 24 to 48 hours, then is racked to a fermentation tank. It is then inoculated with cerevisiae yeast beginning fermentation, which lasts around 25 days at 13º - 14ºC. Once complete, 80% of the wine is sulfited to stop the action of the yeast and protect the wine from oxidation. Lactic bacteria is added to the remaining unsulfited wine, giving it a smoother and more voluminous palate. 40% of the wine is aged in French oak barrels for 12 months.
A deep golden yellow colour. Standout ripe tropical fruit notes of pineapple, banana, apricot, and asparagus and artichoke hearts typical of coastal-climate wines. The 12 months in French oak confers notes of toast and vanilla and heightens the lactic butterscotch tones. The palate has enjoyably acidic, with a fruity persistence.