The grapes for this Carmenère Colchagua Montes Alpha were cold soaked at 10°C for five days to extract aroma and colour. Following this, they underwent fermentation in temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks for 12 days and were then kept on the skins to impart structure and colour. The wine was then matured for 12 months, with 55% of the final blend in first, second and third-use French oak barrels.
The Carmenère grapes come from Montes’ own vineyards in Apalta and Marchigüe, arguably two of the finest sites in the Colchagua Valley. The sites are irrigated via a ‘Sustainable Dry Farmed’ system which allows for precise and minimal irrigating. In Apalta, vines are planted on 45° slopes, providing good exposure to achieve ripeness. Cool ocean breezes and low night-time temperatures help to moderate this warm area, allowing for slow ripening. Marchigüe is slightly cooler because of its closer proximity to the ocean. Conditions are dry, with the region lying in the rain shadow of the Coastal Range, reducing the threat of fungal disease and resulting in consistently healthy harvests.
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.