The Cabernet that broke the mould for premium Chilean wines; intense with great depth of ripe, blackcurrant fruit and a long finish. A splash of merlot and a year in oak (half the wine in a mixture of new and old) provide extra magic. VGV.
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 grapes come from Montes' vineyards in Apalta and Marchigüe. The sites are irrigated via a 'Sustainable Dry Farmed' system which allows for precise and minimal irrigating, reducing their water footprint by 65%. In Apalta, vines are planted on 45° slopes, providing good exposure for ripeness. Cool ocean breezes and low night-time temperatures moderate this warm area, ensuring the grapes ripen steadily and preserving good levels of natural acidity. Marchigüe is cooler and lies in the rain shadow of the Coastal Range, reducing the threat of fungal disease and resulting in consistently healthy harvests. All grapes were hand harvested.
The grapes were cold soaked at 10°C for five days to extract aroma and colour. The grapes were then fermented in stainless steel tanks for 12 days and kept on their skins to give structure and colour. After malolactic fermentation, 55% of the final blend was aged in French oak barrels (1st, 2nd, and 3rd use) for 12 months to add complexity and roundness to the wine.