Montes Alpha M ’05, Folly ’05, and Purple Angel ’05

I went to a Montes tasting the other day at the Bluebird Wineshop. Montes is one of the iconic wines of Chile, having been written up extensively in various publications as well as getting rave reviews in the Wine Spectator and winning numerous industry awards. I decided to see what all the fuss was about. Montes started out in 1988 and was one of the few Chilean wineries to focus entirely on import production. 90% of their production was for export and England was one of the first markets to benefit from this policy. Today they produce over 5 million bottles and export to over 92 countries, not bad for only being in business 20 years. Montes is seeking to make the varietal Syrah the flagship grape of Chile. To this end, they presented their showcase wine, the Montes Folly, so named because the general consensus at the time they planted the vines was that they were crazy to try and produce a premium wine made from Syrah. We sampled the 100% syrah ’05 Montes Folly. It opened with a full-on black fruit nose, juicy blackcurrants and blackberries predominating, with a tantalizing earthy minerality lingering in the air. It was fresh and lively, bright black cherries, morello cherries and again that earthy minerality shining through on a nicely balanced, clean, crisp wine. It didn’t have the big fruity jamminess that many people associate with new world shiraz. And to differenciate themselves a bit more from the pack, they call the grape syrah (as they do in France) as opposed to shiraz (as they do in the new world i.e., Australia, US, etc). The wine that everyone knows is the iconic Montes Alpha M. We tasted the ’05 M. Composed of 85% cabernet sauvignon, 10% merlot and 5%petite verdot, this lovely is produced from a single vineyard at low yields and aged for one year in new french oak barrels. It had a deeply fruity, intense nose, blackcurrant leaping out of the glass with new...

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A bit of Italian for dinner

Remole by Frescobaldi What to have with dinner tonight is the perennial question. You could go with the old tried and true Aussie something or other or cheap new world red or white but what about Italy? I went to an Italian tasting not long ago and they are coming up in leaps and bounds. So, the other day, when I was staring at the wall of wine in the shop, I gravitated toward Italy and picked up this little number from Tuscany. Remole is a blend of sangiovese with a touch of cabernet to give it a bit of colour and heft. On pouring, it gave off aromas of cherry and red berry fruits, very clear, ruby red in colour. On pouring it down my throat, more of that cherry goodness with a mix of juicy strawberry, ripe cherry, a blackcurrant backdrop and a hint of brambly pepper with a dark chocolate finish. Delicious. We had BBQ chicken, spicy couscous and hummous with this and it was a perfect palate cleanser between each bite. Fresh and fruity just begging me to take another bite, which is what any good food wine should do. Wine Stats: Year: 2006 Alcohol: 12.5% Region: IGT Tuscany Varietal(s): blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon Retail price: £6.99 In a nutshell: fruity red for dinner Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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