Montes Alpha Merlot (2017)

This newly released vintage of our Alpha Merlot shows a lovely deep, ruby-red colour. Ripe strawberry, blackberry, and black plum predominate on the nose, while its 12 months in French oak barrels lends elegant notes of toast, caramel, and vanilla, with a touch of nutmeg and cinnamon. The palate is very smooth and medium bodied, with a perfect balance between aromas and avours, ending with a long, silky nish.

SUGGESTIONS

Cellaring recommendations: May be enjoyed now or laid down for 10 or more years.
Recommended serving temperature: 17˚-19˚C (62˚-66˚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.

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Description

HARVEST REPORT

The 2016–2017 season was characterized by a dry winter, so we had to be very efcient in collecting rainwater and irrigating sustainably throughout the season, up until harvest. Only a few, isolated incidences of frost were recorded during the rather benign spring.

The overall yield of our red varieties, however, was down somewhat, mainly because of reduced oral induction the previous year, as well as the restricted availability of water. Unusually high top temperatures in the summer months of January and February had a pronounced inuence on the ripening process, accelerating the accumulation of sugars compared to the same period in previous years.

Very cool afternoons in March, however, lowered heat summation and heightened daily temperature oscillation, resulting in a deepening of colour and more time for the tannins to ripen fully, which is especially important for the small amount of Cabernet Franc in this blend.

 

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