Montes Alpha

The First Premium Wines from Chile

History

MONTES ALPHA Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon was the first premium wine from Chile - the ground breaker - and it remains the brilliant wine it has always been. Now a legend, the Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon 1987 was our first vintage; the pioneer that showed the way to all others in Chile.It remains #1 in the Chilean premium wine niche, having proven early on our credibility as a world-class premium wine producer.

Initially, we only produced the Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon. Unique, elegant and stylish, it showed the level of excellence that Chile could achieve. Later, it was joined by Alphas Chardonnay, Merlot, the superb Syrah and the expressive Pinot Noir from Leyda Valley, and most recently, Alpha Carmenère, a very special wine from Colchagua Valley.

Many competitors have followed, but Montes Alpha wines continue to lead the way, earning a secure place in the minds of wine lovers that is hard to challenge. With prices between US$16 to $20 in the USA, all our Alpha wines have received ‘Top Scoring’ and ‘Best Value’ from the influential Wine Spectator magazine: quite an achievement for Chilean wines at that price level.

The First Premium Wines from Chile

The Montes Angel

The Montes Angel is far from being the result of some focus group or brainstorming session between creatives in an ad agency. Its origin was the personal journey of one of the four founding partners of Montes, Douglas Murray, which gave him a life-long belief in divine providence.

After several close calls on his own mortality, ranging from near-fatal diving accidents in his youth, to two horrendous car crashes in later life, Douglas became convinced of angelic intervention, a belief he held strongly up to his death in 2010. The original Montes Angel design was conceived in 1988, for use on the very first Montes Alpha wines (1987 Cabernet Sauvignon). Now, little changed, she adorns all Montes wines (with the exception of Folly).

For those disposed to believe in her, the Montes Angel represents a real guardian spirit behind the company’s success. For the rest, it’s a strong brand, one that symbolizes a communal spirit among members of the Montes ‘family’.

The Montes Angel

The Wines

Cabernet sauvignon

MONTES ALPHA Cabernet Sauvignon

A leader among Chilean Cabernets, aged for 12 months in French fine grain Allier oak barrels. Intense ruby color, with blackcurrant, chocolate and cigar box aromas; balanced with well-integrated oak. Great complexity of flavors in the mouth; mid-palate is full-bodied and balanced, with remarkably long finish. A superb wine ready to drink now, it can also be chosen for cellaring for future enjoyment. Our first 1987 vintage was singled out by the UK’s Wine magazine as one of the best 10-year-old red wines in the world.

Carmenère

MONTES ALPHA Carmenére

Deep and lively ruby-red color. The wine shows elegant Carmenère character, with lovely black pepper aromas, and hints of red berry, chocolate, vanilla and plum. In the mouth it is distinctively smooth, with rounded soft tannins. Long finish. The oak is beautifully integrated and balanced. The grapes come from our El Arcángel Marchigüe estate, located at the western end of Colchagua valley, where, 18 kilometers from the Pacific Ocean, the relatively cool climate allows this late-ripening variety to mature slowly and smoothly and reach full ripeness. Clay soils give strength and power to the wine. After fermentation, the wine is moved to French oak barrels where it is aged for 12 months.

Chardonnay

MONTES ALPHA Chardonnay

Delicious, full-bodied, complex and creamy in the mid-palate, our Alpha Chardonnay is one of the few Chilean whites wines that will improve with age. The 1998 vintage was selected as ‘World Champion Chardonnay’ by Slow Food of Italy, after simultaneous tastings in 26 cities around the world, covered live by BBC-TV in London. Grapes are sourced from the renowned white wine area, Casablanca Valley. Fermented and aged in French oak barrels for one year; 40% of the wine undergoes secondary ‘malolactic fermentation’ to enhance buttery flavors. A monthly stirring of the wine or batonage enhances flavor and aroma complexity.

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Recipes

Malbec

MONTES ALPHA Malbec

This wine is a blend of 45% Malbec from Marchigüe Estate and 45% Malbec from Apalta Estate. The remaining is a 10% Cabernet Sauvignon from Apalta. Montes Alpha Malbec is a red-colored intense, almost black-looking wine. To the nose it expels notes of red fruit in unison with spices and black pepper. This wine was aged in French oak barrels for 12 months developing superior complexity both in aroma and on the palate. This is a soft, elegant wine of silky tannins with a long, delightful finish.

Merlot

MONTES ALPHA Merlot

Handsome ruby-red color. Outstanding nose of red berries, black cherry, black pepper, with hints of tobacco. These elements come through on the palate, revealing a full-bodied wine. Mid-palate is round and velvety, with an added touches of vanilla and toast, followed by a long and smooth finish. Very elegant.

Pinot noir

MONTES ALPHA Pinot Noir

Beautiful and delicate ruby-red color. Intense and elegant nose, with predominance of strawberry and flowery notes, that together make this Pinot Noir a very lively, harmonious and generous wine. On the palate it is clean, well balanced, with soft rounded tannins and a good level of acidity. The wine is long in the mouth and shows well-integrated, balanced oak. The wine is very lightly filtered, making the aromas and color very expressive of Pinot Noir.

syrah

MONTES ALPHA Syrah

From our La Finca estate, in the Apalta Valley, the 1999 vintage was our first Syrah. This is the scarcest of our Alpha wines. Yields are very low at only 6 tonnes per hectare. The wine is aged in French oak barrels for one year and has only one soft filtering. In the manner of Rhone producers, Aurelio adds a small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon, also originating from Apalta, and some Viognier, to the final mixture. Of intense ruby red color, it has a great aroma with floral, tobacco and leather notes. Strong and full-bodied on the palate, with soft and mature tannins. A very long, elegant and satisfying aftertaste. A superb Syrah.

Montes Alpha Dry Farming

Our project

After numerous experiments and more than five years of testing in our Apalta and Marchigüe vineyards in the Colchagua Valley, we now know how the different soils and grape varieties react to water stress. Under our "Sustainable Dry Farming" system, we don’t irrigate; unless the growing season has been unusually warm. Then, watering is only at the minimum level we have determined is required by our vineyards. This sustainability initiative has allowed us to reduce our water consumption by 65%, equivalent to the average annual water needs of 20,000 people in a full year.

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