Montes Alpha Purple Angel 2020

  • $88.00
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I find it puzzling that more Chilean wine producers don't take a page from the Argentine playbook.  In Argentina they figured out that they could produce world-class Malbec and ran with it.  All but forgotten in France, Carmenere is unique to Chile. In essence, it is Chile's Malbec.

Not that long ago, the Carmenere in the vineyards of Chile was believed to be Merlot.  The timing of the Merlot harvest, which was early for what was actually Carmenere, rendered wines with aromas of green bell pepper and tar.  While this level of pyrazine in a red is a tell-tale sign of underripe grapes, it became associated with Chilean wine.  Through genetic testing it was discovered the "Merlot" vines were actually Carmenere.  Vignerons delayed their harvest to allow the Carmenere to properly ripen. and Voila!  They had their ace in the hole.  Without the tar and green bell pepper, they had some damn good juice that would appeal to a broadened consumer base.  

Purple Angel stands shoulder to shoulder with Clos Apalta at the apex of quality Carmenere.  Nothing else on this planet comes close.

FYI:  Carmenere is often mispronounced.  The "n" is pronounced as if it has a tilde - like the "ñ" in señor.  Note that there is no tilde in CarmeNere.  "Car - men - air" is the correct pronunciation, albeit with a Spanish flair.  You will be surprised at the number of studied wine professionals that put some señor in their Carmenere.

Winemaker Notes

Impressive deep purplish-red in color. Features outstanding aromas of ripe red and black berries, sweet spices, dark chocolate, and mocha notes. The palate is structured with soft, ample tannins. Acidity from the Petit Verdot lends juiciness and enable excellent and exceptional aging potential. The remarkable finish is elegant and intensely complex.

Highly recommended with red meats, lamb chops with rosemary, pork ribs, and cannelloni.

James Suckling 98 Points

A consistent Purple Angel that really delivers the Carmenere’s plushness when ripened well. Dark olives, blackberries and red chili chocolate with a splash of spice and cigar box. Fleshy and concentrated with plenty of fine-grained tannins that extend to a very creamy finish. 92% Carmenere, around half from Marchigue and half from Apalta, with 8% Petit Verdot. Better from 2025.


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