Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Southern Prelude

Montes is one of the largest Chilean wineries. One of its flagship wines was a recent Wine Spectator wine of the year, so when I saw its new releases available I snapped a few up. The Limited Selection, Cabernet-Carmenere, 2008 is medium red in colour. The nose is plums, spice and grape flavoured gum. Medium bodied, relaxed laid back style, low frequency flavours of very ripe plums layered with English custard. The flavours hang in there for a full 30 seconds. The drawback: it’s not very complex. Still, it’s a good wine, and would be good to serve at a dinner party before eating – and at this price ($15) you can splurge on several bottles without breaking the bank.

A clear step up is the Alpha, Carmenere, 2007. Carmenere is becoming the signature grape of Chile. Heavens knows, nobody else grows as much as they do. This one has 8/10 in colour depth. Subtle nose of spice, oak, plum. Medium bodied palate, on the elegant side with a wonderful balance of fruit and oak. Very pretty wine, this does not taste new world at all – if I was tasting this blind I would say its from Rioja or a good Chianti. So much more complex than the Limited Selection. The first sip screamed “wow”, so this is a bargain at $20. Buy it by the case.

Right, lets hop over the Andes a couple of hundred kilometers and check out the signature grape of Argentina, Malbec. La Posta, Angel Palucci Vineyard, 2007 sports nectar, made from 35 year old malbec vines, that scored 90 points in Wine Spectator. It has a funky nose reminiscent of Chinese food – you know, the takeout chicken fried rice etc. Medium bodied, spicy, juicy with boysenberries and pomegranates, with a hoisin sauce bubbling in the background. Smooth wine, silky texture, glides down nice and easy. Good wine, worth the $16.



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