The grapes to produce the Pinot Noir Zapallar Outer Limits by Montes were hand picked into 10kg trays, destemmed and cold soaked at 8°C for five days to extract aroma and colour, which is especially important for thin-skinned Pinot Noir. After that, the grapes were fermented for seven days at controlled temperatures of 25°C and then kept on their skins to give structure and colour for another 20 days. A small portion was racked from the tank early to ferment without its skins, in order to preserve the fresh fruit character, which is important to the final blend. After malolactic conversion, the wine was aged in French oak barrels (30% new and 70% third-use) for 10-12 months.
The grapes come from a single vineyard in Zapallar, situated at 150 metres above sea level and just seven kilometres from the Pacific coast. Montes was the first producer to plant vines in this area. The soils are granite with some clay and silt, and a layer of gravel on the surface that allows moderate drainage. The cool coastal climate and proximity to the mountain range helps to naturally regulate vine growth and yields, resulting in wines with racy acidity, minerality, and highly concentrated aromas and flavours.
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 wines are consistently good because they are meticulous throughout the entire production process. The Outer Limits wines were born out of Aurelio Montes’ desire to push Chilean viticulture in a new direction. The 45 hectare Zapallar Vineyard in the Aconcagua Valley was Montes’ first venture into the ‘outer limits’. Due to the balance and concentration in the Outer Limits wines, they can be enjoyed now or allowed to age for a few years, rewarding with a wonderfully complex bouquet.