Saturday, 17 December 2011

Montes Cabernet Sauvignon “Reserva” (2010)

Vina Montes (the winery behind this 2010 Montes Cabernet Sauvignon “Reserva”) is one of the most respected wineries in Chile. Founded by Aurelio Montes and Douglas Murray in 1987 (and still overseen by these men today), Vina Montes’s premium “Montes Alpha” range has seen global acclaim. It is for Cabernet Sauvignon particularly that Vina Montes has become known and this 2010 Montes Cabernet Sauvignon “Reserva” is now Vina Montes’s “entry level” Cabernet Sauvignon.

Labelled D.O. Valle de Colchagua, (rather than with a single vineyard name) the suggestion is that this 2010 Montes Cabernet Sauvignon “Reserva” is made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes sourced from a range of vineyards in Chile’s Colchagua Valley. South of the Chilean capital of Santiago, the Colchagua Valley as a whole experiences a warm climate with minimal maritime intervention from the Pacific. Having gained a reputation for producing full-bodied reds, one might assume that this 2010 Montes Cabernet Sauvignon “Reserva” will also be full-bodied in nature.

In the glass, this 2010 Montes Cabernet Sauvignon “Reserva” is moderately intense ruby colour. The six months in French oak experienced by this 2010 Montes Cabernet Sauvignon “Reserva” has seemingly had little effect on the colour. A slightly above average alcoholic content (14% abv) is indicated by fairly pronounced legs.

Fairly intense, the aromas of this 2010 Montes Cabernet Sauvignon “Reserva” are of cassis, violets and menthol. A hint of cedar is indicative of oak maturation. In the mouth, this 2010 Montes Cabernet Sauvignon “Reserva” is medium to full-bodied with dark berry fruits and cedar again forming the bulk of the flavours. Structured tannins grip a little too strongly if this 2010 Montes Cabernet Sauvignon “Reserva” is to be approached without accompanying food. Slightly austere in character as a result, this 2010 Montes Cabernet Sauvignon “Reserva” offers good intensity of flavour, even if this wine is struggling to digest its (limited) oak maturation at this time.

Suitable for drinking now with hearty meat dishes, this 2010 Montes Cabernet Sauvignon “Reserva” will reward cellaring for up to five years.
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Montes Cabernet Sauvignon “Reserva” (2010)

Score: 81/100 – A slightly austere expression of Cabernet Sauvignon, this 2010 Montes Cabernet Sauvignon “Reserva” offers a different flavour profile to much “entry level” Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon. A more fruit forward style is more typical.

Value for Money: 7/10 – Available at around £8.50 a bottle, this 2010 Montes Cabernet Sauvignon “Reserva” is a reasonably price way into the wines of Vina Montes.
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