The grapes to produce the Malbec Colchagua Montes Alpha were cold soaked for five days to extract aromas, before fermentation took place in temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks for 12 days. The wine also went through a period of post-fermentation maceration on the skins to develop structure and colour. After malolactic fermentation, 50% of the final blend was aged in French oak barrels (33% new) for 12 months to add complexity and roundness.
The 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 system, developed by Aurelio and his team, which allows for extremely precise and minimal irrigation, reducing their water footprint by 65%. Both properties have soils of granitic origin with varying amounts of clay and organic matter. In Apalta, vines are planted on 45° slopes, providing good exposure. Cool breezes and low night-time temperatures help to moderate temperatures in this area, allowing for slow fruit development and retention of varietal aromas and acidity. Marchigüe is cooler because of its proximity to the ocean. Conditions are dry, reducing the threat of disease and resulting in consistently healthy harvests. All grapes are hand harvested.
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.