Montes Alpha Casablanca Chardonnay 2020
Region: Casablanca, Chile
Bottle size: 75cl
Notes: Vegetarian, Vegan
A bright golden-yellow in colour, this wine displays vibrant aromas of tropical fruit such as pink grapefruit, papaya and lychee, with subtle notes of smoke and vanilla from time spent in French oak. The palate is juicy and fresh, with a vibrant acidity that complements the wine’s medium body and lengthens the finish.
The vineyards for this wine are in the Casablanca region, where cool breezes and proximity to the Pacific Ocean produce ideal conditions for the Chardonnay to ripen slowly and fully. The sites are irrigated via a sustainable system, pioneered by Aurelio and his team, which allows for extremely precise and minimal irrigation. The varied sandy and loam soils lend this wine tremendous complexity. The main clones used are Dijon 76 and Clone 95, the former contributing tropical fruit and citrus, and the latter lending depth and producing exceptionally concentrated grapes. The vineyards are vertically trained and drip irrigated, with yields usually less than 9,000 kg per hectare.
When they started producing Montes Alpha in 1987, they needed balanced yields and to harvest when the grapes were ripe. They adapted these practices to all their vineyards and the results were startling. Montes’ own vineyards now cover 75% of their requirements. The other 25% of fruit is produced in vineyards that they have planted, cultivated and picked. In other words, they control everything except the ownership of the land. In addition to this control over the vineyard, they also sell in bulk what is not good enough to go into the bottles that carry their label. Having made the selection in the vineyard, they are able to make a further selection in the winery. The results are there for you to taste. In 2020, Aurelio Montes’ illustrious career was recognised in the form of the International Wine Challenge’s Lifetime Achievement Award.