The 2013 vintage was 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 2013–2014 season saw several frosts in the second half of September that affected an extensive expanse of plantations across the country but only slightly reduced yields in some varieties, such as Malbec. Due to the cold spring, phenologic development was later than usual, although a subsequent increase in temperatures in early summer resulted in an acceleration of ripening and an earlier harvest than anticipated. This season’s naturally low yields encouraged very good health in the grapes and good concentration of colour and phenolic ripeness.
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.
Aromas of ripe red and black fruits dominate on the nose, accompanied by an elegant floral note. Aromas of sweet spices that recall vanilla and notes of cherries in syrup pair very well with the aromas of butterscotch and mocha from the French oak that also lends a sweet sensation on the palate. Rich acidity balances this excellent wine with medium body and rounded tannins that deliver a persistent finish.