SUGGESTIONS Cellaring Recommendations: May be enjoyed now or cellared for 10 or more years. Recommended Serving Temperature: 17º–19º C (62º–66º F). Decanting: Recommended for 30 minutes. Food Pairing: Highly recommended with duck breast, lamb or pork chops, pasta with pesto, lamb masala, and chicken with mushroom sauce.
TECHNICAL DATA Denomination of Origin: Colchagua Valley. Vine Selection: Clones: 181, 184, 343, 346, 348, 347. Filtering: Through cartridge filters prior to bottling. Vineyard Yield: 7 tons per hectare (2.8 tons per acre). Grape Varieties: Merlot 90%, Carmenère 10% Barrel Aging: 55% of the wine was aged for 12 months in first, second, and third-use French oak barrels.
BASIC ANALYSIS Alcohol 14.2º Total Acidity (H2 SO4) 3.55 g/lt. Residual Sugar 2.79 g/lt. pH 3.53 Volatile Acidity (C2H4O2) 0.60 g/lt. Free SO2 35 mg/lt. Our Montes Alpha Merlot is made with selected grapes from our Colchagua Valley vineyards grown under our “Dry Farming” philosophy. Under this system we leave nature to do the job of irrigation through rain. We don’t irrigate unless nature does not provide us with the enough minimum rain that we have determined our vines need in which case we irrigate to compensate the difference. Dry Farming increases the final quality of the wines with more ripe fruit, and more weight in the mouth, decreasing the use of water up to 65%. As usual, our Alpha Merlot is a dark ruby red in color. Its aromas are intense with the expression of ripe red fruit such as cherries and strawberries, red plums in their juice, and blackcurrant. Twelve months in French oak barrels confer a combination of aromas such as vanilla and mocha that harmonize very well with the fruit, as well as dairy notes, nuts, and sweet spices. The palate is well balanced with soft tannins, very good structure and volume, and a very long and pleasing finish.
HARVEST Harvest Period: April 16– May 15 The weather during the 2012–2013 season began with a cooler-than-normal spring in all of Chile’s winegrowing regions, which delayed the onset of budbreak and flowering with respect to the previous year. Rainfall was lower than normal in both Marchigüe and Apalta, which can produce enormous problems in this variety if enough water is not available at certain key moments. December was also a bit cold, and rainfall in the central zone resulted in a vigorous elongation of the berries, which in turn tended to result in heavier bunches. January was also cold, which delayed and extended the veraison period. A bit of rain also fell, but did not put our Merlot at risk. As usual, the bunches were well defined, healthy, and evenly ripe. February presented days with spikes in temperature, which led us to believe we would have to begin the harvest earlier than the previous year, although in the end, we actually started 20 days later and finished at dates that were very similar to those of 2012.
VINEYARD The vineyards that produce the Merlot for our Alpha line are located in the Colchagua Valley, primarily in our Finca El Arcángel de Marchigüe property. The soils there are of granitic origin with differing degrees of decomposition and varying levels of clay and organic matter and a diverse structure in depth, with profiles ranging from shallow to deep clay and a presence of rounded and angular stones. Our Merlot vineyards are planted to a density of 5,555 plants/hectare (2,250 pl/acre) and double guyot managed for yields of approximately 7,000 kg/ha (2.8 tons/acre).