Chile day 9 – Today was my M&M day. That is Montgras and Montes. Two premium wineries located in the Colchagua Valley in Chile. In the morning I met with Mr. Santiago Margozzini from Montgras. He led me through a tasting of their wines as well as drove me through part of their Ninquen vineyards. Most of their vines are located in the Colchagua valley, but they also have some vineyards in the Leyda and the Maipo Valley. Many of the wines I tasted I do not think are in BC yet, but may soon arrive. To keep the blog short, i’ll keep my notes to one white and one red for each winery, with my full tasting notes to come when I’m back in Vancouver. From Leyda, I tried a Sauvignon Blanc and a Chardonnay. The Amaral Sauvignon Blanc 2009 is 100% stainless steel fermented. They tried to minimize oxygen content with the grapes using dry ice. The wine was only bottled one month ago, and I think i am one of the first few non Chileans to try this vintage. The wine has lots of lemon, lime and grapefruit aromas with a slight hint of greenness. On the palate it had high acidity, with more lemon, lime and grapefruit flavours. And a very long length. I tried 7 reds with Montgras. All but one came from the Colchagua Valley. The MontGras Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 was deep garnet in the glass. Vanilla, black fruit, black cherries, cassis and tarry aromas. It had lots of fruitiness on the palate, with flavours of black cherry, vanilla, cloves, and chocolate. The tannins were soft but still provided a dry finish.
The afternoon I dedicated to the Montes winery, and wine maker Mr. Aurelio Montes Jr. I had met Aurelio in Vancouver during the Wines of Chile events in September and arranged to meet him at the winery in October. Aurelio first drove me around the vineyard, pointing out the differences within the vineyard topography and how that influenced the varieties planted and how the vines were planted (e.g. training the vines, and vine density). After we toured the winery, then onto tasting his wines. Again keeping brevity, i’ll only review one white and one red wine for the blog, with more to come. For the white wine, I tried the Montes Sauvignon Blanc Limited Selection 2009 from the Leyda Valley (FYI, i’m starting to really enjoy Leyda Sauv Blancs more than from other parts of Chile). This one had citrus, nettles, herbal and green chile aromas. On the palate the wine had citrus, and green chile pepper flavours. Light in body but long length. Pair with some seafood. I tried 7 red wines, but the one I will talk about is the Montes Alpha Carmenere 2007. This wine was deep purple in the glass. Capsicum, back fruit and vanilla aromas. On the palate I taste red and black cherries, vanilla and a slight hint of capsicum. This wine had a soft, round mouth feel and a long length. Pair carmenere with spicy Thai, Mexican or Indian food. I can’t wait to try this back in Vancouver.
Thanks to both Santiago and Aurelio for showing me their vineyards and fine wines. Saludos!