Colchagua Merlot

Colchagua Valley

Montes Classic Series

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. Montes wines are consistently good because they are meticulous throughout the entire production process. Montes own 800 hectares of vineyards in Apalta and Marchigue located in Colchagua Valley as well a single vineyard Zapallar, in the coastal Aconcagua Valley. In this way, they are able to retain full control of everything that is planted, cultivated and picked. The 'Classic Series' wines are all sourced from different regions, chosen to produce the best examples of each variety.

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Vineyards

The grapes came mainly from the most coastal part of the Colchagua Valley. Soil depth is predominantly moderate, with extremely variable amounts of granite, red clay, and little organic matter overall. The Merlot grows no more than 120 metres above sea level, with a north-northwest orientation. The vines are vertically positioned and double Guyot pruned.

Vintage Information

The 2017 vintage began with a dry winter with higher than usual temperatures, resulting in a decrease in fruit set and a subsequent 22% decrease in yields. The summer was very hot, and temperatures reached 40°C in January in some sectors of the valley, which accelerated ripening in some varieties. Night-time temperatures dropped significantly in early March, which enabled the grapes to develop more aromas, ripen their tannins, and obtain tremendous colour in their skins. The smaller yields meant the berries had very good concentration, which is reflected in the wines' quality and expression.

Vinification

The grapes were cold soaked at 10°C for five days to extract aroma and colour. After that, the must was fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks for 12 days and then kept on the skins to give structure and colour. After malolactic fermentation, 45% of the final blend was aged in first-use French oak barrels for eight months to add complexity and roundness to the wine.

Tasting Notes

This Merlot is bright ruby red in colour. The nose is intense with aromas of fresh black fruits such as blackberries, plums, and figs. Spicy notes recalling nutmeg and black pepper intermingle with aromas from the French oak barrels along with a touch of dark chocolate, tobacco, and notes of toast. The palate is smooth and well balanced, with soft, round tannins lending a pleasing sweet sensation to the mid-palate. With good depth and natural acidity, this Merlot has an elegant and persistent fruity finish.

Vintage Information

Vintage 2017
Grape varieties 85% Merlot
15% Carmenère
Region Colchagua Valley
Winemaker Aurelio Montes Jnr
Alcohol (ABV) 14.5%
Acidity 3.5g/l
Residual Sugar 3.57g/l
Wine pH 3.5