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Alpha Merlot

Vina Montes - Alpha Merlot 2015

Chile
Red Wine from Rapel Valley · Chile
Price: £14.95
Case Rate: £14.95
Ex Tax: £10.79
Country:
Wine Region: Rapel Valley
Winery: Vina Montes
Wine Maker: Aurelio Montes Jnr
Grape: Merlot
Grape Percentage: 90% Merlot , 10% Carmenère
Alcohol Percentage: 14%
Unit Quantity (ml): 750
Vegan:
Yes
Vegan
Minimum Qty: (6 btls)
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Rating 87 pts  Wine Advocate/Robert Parker
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Country:
Wine Region: Rapel Valley
Winery: Vina Montes
Wine Maker: Aurelio Montes Jnr
Grape: Merlot
Grape Percentage: 90% Merlot , 10% Carmenère
Alcohol Percentage: 14%
Unit Quantity (ml): 750
Vegan:
Yes
Vegan

Wine tasting notes

Deep cherry red in colour with a violet hue. On the nose there are pronounced aromas of blackberries, cherries, figs and plums. The oak ageing adds subtle layers of vanilla and pepper as well as giving nutty notes and sweet spices. This is a well-structured wine with smooth, round tannins and a long and elegant finish..

Food matching

Round, smooth, smart, this Chilean Merlot is a good everyday wine for lovers of St Emilion wines. It is a perfect partner for roast lamb, roast chicken and steak, and works with most meats, including game. It is great with stew and with pasta dishes with meat or mushroom based sauces. Vegetarians can make a meal of it with a huge dish of roast vegetables, and can also enjoy it with a varied cheese board (though perhaps not blue cheeses). Carnivores take note that it is a great match for all kinds of charcuterie. It can take some spice and some smoke, though it isn't too fond of salt or cream. It can be enjoyed on its own or as a party wine.

Expert reviews

Wine Advocate/Robert Parker (2010) - 87 pts

Wine Advocate # 204. Dec 2012.  Reviewer : Neal Martin - The 2010 Montes Alpha Merlot, blended with 10% Carmenere, has a touch of greenness on the nose, while the palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins and a juicy blackberry, cigar box and soy-tinged finish that shows good persistency. This is a commendable Chilean Merlot. Drink now-2016.


JancisRobinson.com (2012) - 16.5 pts

Tasted Dec 2014 - This is the first vintage of the pioneering dry-farming project that Montes Alpha began in 2009. To date they have reduced their water usage in the vineyards by a staggering 65%. To quote: 'The basic premise behind Dry Farming is to allow nature to take its course as much as possible, topping up with irrigation as required depending on conditions to compensate for any shortage in rainfall - a significant development in Chile, where it is the norm to irrigate. With now three years of data under its belt, Montes has made dramatic findings, illustrating that less irrigation results in lower yields of higher quality grapes.' Dark deep crimson. So staggeringly rich and silky and sensuous that for the first couple of tastes I didn't know quite what to write. Molten plums, milk chocolate, mocha, and a dried-apricot tang which turns all the opulence and plump boudoir fruit into dramatic fireworks with a freshness that practically crackles across the tongue. It certainly has all the density and concentration of a dark chocolate truffle, and is verging on just-too-sumptuous, but the fine tannins and that tense acidity manage to rein it back just in time. You could sink into an armchair and sip this slowly by the fire, but a food match would need to be carefully thought out: perhaps slow-cooked pork belly in a sweet-soy marinade? (TC)


Wine Spectator (2012) - 85 pts

Web Only - 2014. Aromas and flavors of crushed red fruits, with some accents of tea and cola. Spicy finish features ripe cherry notes.


James Suckling (2013) - 92 pts

Plenty of black olive, hazelnut and blackberry. Medium to full body, fine tannins. Bright finish. A beautiful merlot that delivers serious merlot character. Sustainable dry farming. Drink or hold.


Wine Enthusiast (2012) - 90 pts

Blackberry and spice aromas are earthy, leathery and stalky. This is youthful and tannic at this point, while oaky flavors of clove and wood spice ride heavily atop blackberry and dark plum fruit. Oak notes and firm tannins indicate that this will be best from late 2015 through 2018.