Growing Region: Colchagua Valley, Chile
Owner / Winemaker: Aurelio Montes
Carménère is the legendary lost grape of Bordeaux, France. It was officially recognized by the Chilean Department of Agriculture as a distinct grape varietal in 1998. Carménère now thrives in the Colchagua Valley - where the carefully tended fruit for this wine has an appealing richness and real charm. Aurelio Montes has always maintained that - “80% of good wine comes from the vineyard and the other 20% from the cellar”.
So, for Aurelio and his team - vineyard management is paramount, enabling Montes to produce their world-renowned wines. Aurelio’s commitment to method and process is second to none; nothing is left to chance, and this engaging wine is worth sharing.
After a mixed growing season - the resulting low yields produced good healthy fruit bunches with good concentration of colour and phenolic ripeness.
The Carménère fruit chosen for this ‘Limited Selection’ range was harvested during April and early May. And came from their vineyards in the Apalta and Marchigüe areas of the Colchagua Valley. The Apalta soils tend to be deep on the flat areas and then thin from the foot of the mountain to the upper slope areas. Carménère vines grow best on flat areas with deeps soils and moderate moisture retention. The Marchigüe vineyards are relatively flat with low to moderate slopes. The soils are relatively shallow with moderate amounts of clay and high capacity for water retention. Their Carménère vineyards undergo various viticultural practices which aim to improve the characteristics of the varietal, such as intense leaf thinning in early January to expose the fruit to the sun to encourage even ripening and more importantly, to reduce Carménère’s naturally high green vegetable notes.
After harvesting and respectful; traditional winemaking - 50% of the wine was transferred from tank into a mix of different aged French oak barrels where it aged and developed for 10 months, and then lightly filtered before bottling.
On pouring this wine, you are greeted by an intense cherry red with a violet hue. On the nose, you are engaging with inviting aromas of wild red and dark berries along with cinnamon, dried fruits, and homemade preserves. The mix use of aged French oak gives a platform for the aromas to be joined by flavours of cocoa and freshly ground coffee. This wine is voluptuous and well-balanced with perfectly entwined silky tannins, resulting in a pleasingly moreish and broad mid-palate which leads onto a lingering finish.
This 2014 Montes 'Limited Selection' Carménère has 14% Alc. Decant for 20-30 minutes and serve in a good sized red wine glass at 16-18°C.
A generous flavoured red wine, with early charm and spice.
Drinking perfectly well this coming season; and will age nicely for another 3-4 years.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine with bbq’d meats, beef and capsicum stir-fry, mushroom risotto, oven-roasted pork-ribs, well-seasoned pasta and earthy vegetarian dishes - enjoy.