2010 Vina Montes Alpha Malbec

Year: 2010
Appellation: Colchagua Valley
Country: Chile
Wine Spectator: 88
Wine Advocate: 92
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :
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"This ripe and showy red offers dark blackberry, cassis, nutmeg and charcoal notes woven with firm tannins. A touch top-heavy, with moderate length. Drink now. 1,400 cases imported." (WS)

"The 2010 Montes Alpha Malbec is the debut offering in the Alpha range and the fruit is sourced from both the original vineyards in Colchagua and their coastal vineyards. The nose is clean and pure with scents of raspberry, cedar, tobacco and clay-like aromas. It is understated and attractive. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grainy tannins, crisp acidity and fine delineation. There is something Old World about this Malbec, but it has that elusive quality of personality and there is great vibrancy and tension on the finish. This forms a commendable debut. Drink now-2016.

Montes was founded in 1987 and became one of the first wineries to exploit the hillsides to make premium Chilean wine, most notably in the Apalta Valley. It was also the first winery to cultivate Syrah in Colchagua. The winery eschews pumps and is built around gravity transfer, while the entire design is based around the Chinese concept of feng shui. Below lies the semi-circular cellar that houses up to 800 new French oak barrels, enjoying the Gregorian chants while they mature the wine. Despite the impressive facilities and quasi-ecclesiastical karma, Aurelio firmly believes that great wine is made in the vineyard rather than the winery. Still, when I questioned him about whether he is revising his modus operandi, he replied that, at least apropos his Chardonnay, like many in South America, he is decreasing the amount of oak in the wines while lifting the malolactic. This was generally a well turned out portfolio of wines that were far more consistent than others I tasted of similar size. While Montes is not beyond criticism, the entry-level wines represent a perfect introduction to Chilean wine at astoundingly good prices, while the premium bottles offer wines that should repay cellaring." (WA)

Winery Notes:
Montes Alpha Malbec is a blend of 45% of Malbec from our Marchigue Estate and 45% of Malbec from our Apalta Estate. The remaining is a 10% Cabernet Sauvignon from Apalta.

The Apalta vineyards provide elegant, ripe fruit with soft, firm and fine tannins, while Marchig├╝e brings cooler weather notes like violets and red fruits. In the mouth tannins have a lush structure, robustness and freshness.

The Cabernet Sauvignon helps us to bring additional structure and complexity to the natural sweetness and softness of the Malbec variety.