Two bottles: Affordable red stuff from South America

Some things, or rather, most things, need their time. I admit to opening more white than red wine bottles and therefore creating occasional red backlog in the tasting shed. But there is an advantage to this: by the time some of these wines find their way into my glass, I often can’t remember any of the PR gobbledygook  that originally came with them. That means: a perfect tête à tête, just the wine and me. And with that preamble I present you two reds from Aurelio Montes of South American fame.

Montes 2 reds

It was a true winter evening in early January when I decided to treat myself to a red and my hand found its way to this bottle in the wine rack. Carmenère always has a special ring to me, as we all once thought it to be Merlot, only to discover (thanks to DNA) that it belongs to the Cabernet family. It was once grown in Bordeaux but practically extinct since phylloxera. However it survived in Chile, and everybody „knew“ in the 1990s that Chilean Merlot was special… Anyhow, into the (large) glass this dark wine flowed, and warmed my soul with its truly silky, dry tannins, the alcohol (14,5%) hidden somewhere amongst the black pepper and plums, the super dark chocolate and coffee aromas. It seduced me in a very sophisticated way. I’ve never been to Chile (or South America), but when I read that the Colchagua Valley has a relatively cool climate, I tend to believe this and think of the snow-capped Andes mountains.

In case I didn’t get this clear: the wine (from 2012) was truly special, and it was with some trepidation that I googled to get an idea about its price range. I expected it somewhere around 30 euro – whereas it actually costs less than half of that. No comment.

When I next looked at the red wine backlog, there was this other Montes bottle looking back at me. That was a little confusing, as the Kaiken series stems from the Mendoza in Argentina; another Montes venture on the other side of those mountains.  2012 Malbec (with some Bonarda and Petit Verdot thrown in) from the Terroir Series… To cut it short: another very enjoyable wine,  ever so slightly more upfront, but again a great winter warmer – at half the price of the Carmenère. Me even talking about prices here is a recommendation in itself.

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