WA 88 points (2010)
The vineyards destined for our Montes Classic Sauvignon Blanc are located in the Casablanca Valley, 25 km (15.5 mi) from the coast of the Pacific Ocean.
The vines are double guyot trained and pruned to obtain no more than 10 tons/hectare. The spring frosts that affected Chile’s entire central zone and decreased the yields to historic levels greatly affected Casablanca. This resulted in yields of no more than 5 tons/ha (2 tons/acre) as after averaging the sectors that were severely affected with others that suffered less impact.
Bud break began 3 weeks later than usual, but later phenological stages tended to catch up with the times of the previous season.
Harvest Period: March 14–April 4.
The 2013–2014 harvest season was one of the most difficult for Chilean wine production. Beginning in mid-September, much of central Chile suffered continuous days with temperatures below -2º C (28º F) for 8 or more hours, a condition that is absolutely fatal for any crop.
The vines from early-budding varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and to a lesser degree Sauvignon Blanc, were extremely affected. The impact was lower, however, in the sectors in which the buds were still dormant during the frosts.
Budbreak began later than usual, but by November the situation had calmed down, and rain-free days resulted in optimal flowering, thereby ensuring successful fruit set. December presented high temperatures and no precipitation, and by late December and early January the phenological stages had become even with the same date of the previous year.
The Sauvignon Blanc from Casablanca presented us with productive deficits of 40–60%, which resulted in reaching harvest with fewer and smaller bunches, which benefitted the quality of the grapes in terms of healthy fruit with excellent aromatic concentrations.
The grapes are hand picked into 300-kg (660-lb) containers. The harvest takes place early in the morning to keep the grapes as cool as possible until they reach the cellar, where the bunches are carefully selected before destemming. The grapes are then cold macerated (below 10º C / 50º F) for 12–24 hours. The juice is drained and statically decanted for another 24 hours to ensure the must is clean before it is transferred to the definitive tanks and inoculated for alcoholic fermentation.
Commercial cereviciae yeasts are used for fermentation, which lasts 20–25 days. This process is quite slow because we prefer to work with low temperatures (12º–13ºC / 54º–55ºF) for very controlled fermentation kinetics. Upon completion of the alcoholic fermentation, 100% of the wine is sulfited to completely detain the yeast activity and protect the wine against oxidation. Once the different components of the final blend are defined, the wine is held on its lees, which are stirred once a week until it is time to stabilize the proteins and tartaric precipitations for bottling.
Very crystalline light yellow in color. The nose features notes of fresh white fruits such as peach and pineapple as well as lemony citrus notes and certain vegetal notes such as tomato leaf. The palate starts fresh and is very crisp with light body and a long, pleasing finish.
Denomination of Origin: Casablanca Valley Clone Selection: 1 and 242
Filtering: By sterile cartridge (membrane)
Vineyard Yield: 5 tons/hectare (2 tons/acre)
Grape Variety: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Oak Aging: Unoaked
Cellaring Recommendations: Store in a cool, dry, dark place at no more than 15ºC (59ºF).
Recommended Serving Temperature: 12º–13º C / 54º–55º F
Decanting: Not necessary
Food Pairing: Highly recommended with sushi, Caesar salad, ceviche, garlic shrimp, grilled mahi-mahi, pasta primavera, shellfish soup, and lemon chicken.
Total Acidity (H2SO4) 4.41 g/lt.
Residual Sugar 2.15 g/lt. pH 3.12 g/lt.
Volatile Acidity (C2H4O2) 0.34 g/lt.
Free SO2 24 mg/lt.