Montes Classic Chardonnay 2014
WA 87 points (2010)
The vineyards destined to produce our Classic Chardonnay are primarily located in the Casablanca Valley, with a small portion in the Curicó Valley. Two very different situations express their potentials in this wine. Casablanca imprints its “cold-zone” characteristics on the nose with an abundance of asparagus and citrus notes and with tremendous freshness on the palate. The grapes from Curicó contribute notes of fresh tropical fruits, peaches, and apricots, as well as greater volume on the palate. All of the vineyards are vertically positioned and drip irrigated.
Harvest Date: March 10–26. The 2013–2014 season was one of the most complicated on record for Chilean wine production. Mid-September brought frigid days with temperatures below -2ºC for more than 8 hours at a time over multiple days—an absolutely fatal situation for any crop. The early-ripening varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were severely affected, and Sauvignon Blanc was to a lesser degree. Budbreak occurred later than usual, but calm was restored in November, when rain-free days allowed for optimal flowering and ensured good fruit set in the varieties that managed to resist the frost and in the zones that were less affected. December presented high temperatures and no rain, and by late December and early January the phenological stages were on a par with similar dates in the previous season, albeit with greater clarity in the effects of the frosts and with very low yields.
The grapes were hand picked into 300-kg containers early in the morning to keep the grapes at the lowest possible temperature until they reached the cellar, where the bunches were carefully selected prior to destemming. The Chardonnay grapes were processed in one of two ways. Most of the grapes were direct, whole-cluster pressed to obtain the juice and begin the decantation process. A smaller group of lots with optimal ripening underwent a pre-fermentation cold maceration (below 10ºC) for no more than 4 hours. The must obtained from pressing and maceration (when used), was transferred to a decantation tank, and 24 hours later the clean must was racked off to the definitive fermentation tank. The must was then inoculated with commercial yeasts for fermentation at 13º–14ºC over the course of 15–17 days. Once alcoholic fermentation was complete, 100% of the wine for this blend was sulfited to ensure that all yeast activity had stopped and to prevent the wine from oxidation. Just 35% of the total volume of wine was in contact with French oak for 8 months. The wine was fined and stabilized for proteins and tartrates for optimal condition and appearance. It was also filtered through sterile membranes prior to bottling for greater microbiological security and stability over time.
Light golden yellow in color. The nose is very elegant and complex with fruity aromas recalling apricots, pink grapefruit, golden berries, and a touch of asparagus. The fruity characteristics mingle harmoniously with the contributions of the French oak, with notes of vanilla and a very light touch of toast. The palate is fresh with pleasingly crisp acidity, medium volume, and a very long finish.
Cellaring Recommendations: In a cool, dry place at no more than 15ºC and away from light sources.
Recommended Serving Temperature: 12º–13ºC (54ºF).
Decanting: Not required.
Food Pairing: Highly recommended with salmon ceviche, sea bass with sautéed mushrooms and rice, fettuccini Alfredo, conger eel soup, and razor clams Parmesan.
Denomination of Origin: Central Valley.
Vine Selection: Clones 76 and 95.
Filtering: By sterile membrane cartridge.
Vineyard Yield: 11.5 ton/hectare (4.6 ton/acre).
Grape Variety: Chardonnay 100%
Oak Aging: 35% of the components of this wine were aged for 8 months in French oak barrels
Total Acidity (H2SO4) 3.74 g/lt.
Residual Sugar 1.87 g/lt.
pH 3.13 g/lt.
Volatile Acidity (C2H4O2) 0.28 g/lt.
Free SO2 36 mg/lt.