October 26, 2013

Portland Wine Tasting Group, Chilean Wine Blowout

2011 Montes Cherub Rosé of Syrah Colchagua Valley – Syrah grape
Darker than expected with a magenta hue. There’s a fascinating herbal/vegetal aroma that was surprising and immediately tells you that this isn’t a sweet pink wine. There’s a strong fruit presence of red cherry and plum, with tart acidity and a clean finish. More tannic than most rosés. This is a substantial pink bordering on a red that is still fun and interesting, and is perfect for this kind of mild spring weather.

By the way, the label is drawn by the great Ralph Steadman, an illustrator whose frenetic ink splatters are most often associated with Hunter S. Thompson but who has also done great labels for beer and wine bottles over the years. In this one, he painted a caricature of winemaker Aurelio Montes as a diaper-clad cherub. wine-by-benito

2012 Oveja Negra Sauvignon Blanc-Carmenère Reserva Maule Valley -blend of Sauvignon Blanc & Carmenère grapes
Silvery straw color. Aromas of gooseberry jam, grapefruit and green pepper with tangy, fruity-yet-dry medium body and a zesty honeyed kiwi, strawberry and Wheaties finish. A delightfully flavorful, refreshing and balanced white wine. WORLD WINE CHAMPIONSHIPS AWARD: Silver Medal

2011 Montes Outer Limits Sauvignon Blanc Zapallar Vineyard Aconcagua Valley – Sauvignon Blanc grape
A well-cut and intense white, with racy lemon, lime leaf and pulpy grapefruit notes backed by spirited acidity and a long, savory finish. Rated 90 by Wine Spectator

2008 Montes Alpha Syrah Colchagua Valley – Syrah/Shiraz grape
The 2008 Alpha Syrah is purple/black in color with an alluring nose of smoke, game, mineral, underbrush, and blueberry. Medium- to full-bodied, succulent and chewy on the palate, this lengthy effort is likely to evolve for 1-2 years but can be approached now.Rated 91 by The Wine Advocate

A ripe, up-front style, displaying lots of briar, anise, plum cake and fig flavors that push through the juicy, full-bodied finish. Very solid.Rated 90 by Wine Spectator magazine

2008 Polkura Syrah Block g+i Marchigue, Colchagua Valley, Chile – Syrah/Shiraz grape
The 2008 Syrah Block g+i was blended with 2% Viognier. Purple/black in color, it reveals a brooding, reticent bouquet of smoked meat, bacon, pepper, violets, mineral, and blueberry. Back-strapping and tightly wound on the palate, this substantial, opulent effort merits 4-6 years of additional cellaring. This lengthy effort will provide peak drinking from 2014 to 2022 at the very least. Rated 92 The Wine Advocate

2010 Montes Alpha M Santa Cruz – blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (80%), Merlot (5%), Cabernet Franc (10%) and Petit Verdot (5%) grapes
Beautifully concentrated, showing a floral undertone to the rich yet racy wild berry, cassis and damson plum skin fruit character that’s tightly wound around fine tannins. The finish is long and compact, but needs time in the cellar to fully shine.Rated 96 Wine Spectator magazine (one of the highest ratings ever for a Chilean wine)