Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition article on Malbec in South America (see blue link below).
Montes Alpha Malbec 2013 - October 2017 Decanter review
Montes was established in 1988 by Aurelio Montes, Douglas Murray, Alfredo Vidaurre and Pedro Grand, with the aim to produce the best wines in Chile from the best regions. We have long admired Montes and what they have done for Chilean wine over the past three decades. Their wines are consistently good because they are meticulous throughout the entire production process. Montes own 800 hectares of vineyards in Apalta and Marchigue located in Colchagua Valley as well a single vineyard Zapallar, in the coastal Aconcagua Valley. By this, they are able to retain full control of everything that is planted, cultivated and picked. The results are there for you to taste. The fact that the 'Classic Series' is Montes' entry point says a lot about this estate. The wines are all from different regions that make the best example of the specific variety.
The Malbec grapes come from the Colchagua Valley renowned for making excellent red wines. In Colchagua, the moderating breezes from the ocean slows ripening allowing the wines to achieve perfect ripeness. Cool nights help retain acidity giving freshness to the wines. All grapes were hand harvested.
The 2012–2013 season began with a cooler-than-average spring that delayed the onset of budbreak and flowering. A cold January set veraison back, and rainfall put the quality of the most sensitive grapes at risk. The Malbec comes from two very different spots in the Colchagua Valley with ripening at very different times. Despite unusually high temperatures in February, windy conditions in Marchigüe kept the grapes cooler, and therefore they ripened more slowly than the grapes in Apalta, where the Malbec harvest begins. The grapes reached harvest in very good health. Fruit was picked between the 12th of April and 16th of May.
The grapes were cold soaked at 10°c for five days to extract aroma and colour. After that, the grapes were fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks for 12 days and then kept on their skins to give structure and colour. After malolactic fermentation, 45% of the final blend was aged in French oak barrels (25% new, the rest second fill) for eight months to add complexity and roundness to the wine.
Interesting ruby red with a violet hue. Blackberries predominate on the nose, along with stewed plums, milk chocolate and a floral touch. The French oak is nicely integrated, with and elegant hint of toast and a sweet sensation. The medium-bodied palate is well balanced, and the smooth tannins linger on the long finish.