Inky-dark ruby color; red fruits, nutmeg on the nose; concentrated dark cherry, plum, red and black currant, raspberry, mocha, mint on the palate.
Power pour; very dry; tight, dusty tannin; good acidity for power red (3.48 pH); concentrated flavors, whiff of tobacco, tar, and well-behaved oak on the finish. Blend of 90% cabernet sauvignon, 10% merlot.
Viña Montes is a Chilean success story. It began in 1987 with founders Aurelio Montes and Douglas Murray, both experienced wine professionals. They were joined the next year by Alfredo Vidaurre and Pedro Grand, who brought business skills. From the beginning, Montes wanted to build itself without help of non-Chilean experts and to focus on high quality wines with a large export focus. Today, Montes sells in more than 100 countries world wide. When Montes began exporting, only 13 other Chilean wineries sold outside Chile. Today, the number is more than 200.
Viña Montes asserts wine making is 80% in the vineyard and 20% in the cellar, which is excellent approach and is married to sustainable agriculture. Harvest at the precisely correct time is a particular emphasis. Viña Montes dry farms its vineyards, reducing water use by 65% over earlier vintages. They emphasize responsible waste management, deep research into sustainable practices, and social responsibility. They obtained Level A in GRI sustainability in 2012 (for 2011 vintage) and maintain it today.
Viña Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua Valley 2013 is a superb value. You get a true quality cab with dash of softening merlot; balanced, powerful flavors at a very nice price for wine of this value. $18-23
Other photos: Viñas Montes barrel room; map of Viñas Montes vineyards