JS 90 points
Harvest Date: March 18–April 12
The 2012–2013 season was colder than the previous season during budbreak, flowering, and fruit set. Spring presented more precipitation than the previous year, which caused the vegetative growth period (budbreak) to be faster and more vigorous, while rain during flowering was somewhat harmful to our vines because the flowers are very sensitive to the damage caused when they fall. This had a pronounced effect on the composition of the bunches, which had looser bunches.
The vegetative growth obligated us to take measures to control the growth through very well-controlled shoot removal followed by trimming shoot tops to prevent microclimates from forming in the interior of the canopy that could give rise to conditions conducive to fungal diseases.
The month of January and part of February (veraison and ripening) were almost completely cloudy, although no rain fell. The situation led to a late onset and slow progression of veraison, which subsequently delayed the start of harvest by a little more than 10 days. It was necessary to accompany the ripening period with certain viticultural tasks to allow the grapes to reach harvest with healthy fruit and even ripening. These tasks include partial leaf pulling around the bunches to improve ventilation and illumination and thereby obtain more sugars and therefore a greater sensation of creaminess in the fruit. Due to the low temperatures, ripening was very slow. This allowed us to maintain excellent acidity levels and freshness in our Pinots. In the end it was a good season in Casablanca, Leyda, and Zapallar.
The vineyards destined for our Montes Alpha Pinot Noir are planted in the Casablanca, Leyda, and Zapallar Valleys, all in the Aconcagua wine region. All of the vineyards are vertically positioned, drip irrigated, and produce yields of 4-5 tons/acre. The vineyards present an excellent vegetative/productive balance, so it is not necessary to adjust the load and only minimal canopy work is needed. It also allows us to obtain healthy grapes with good balance at the time of harvest.
The Casablanca vineyard is 25 km from the coast, Leyda is 9 km, and Zapallar just 7 km away. The proximity to the sea produces tremendous freshness, minerality, and cold-zone typicity in the wine. The granitic soils with varying percentages of clay found in the Coastal Mountains contribute elegance and creaminess to the wine, along with outstanding varietal characteristics and the potential of Pinot Noir from the Aconcagua coast.
The grapes are hand picked into 10-kg trays very early in the morning while the temperatures were still cool as a means of protecting the aromas. Upon arriving at the cellar the bunches are inspected and the best are destemmed. A second inspection of the individual berries follows.
The grapes are then gently dropped into open-topped stainless steel tanks. The whole berries undergo a 5–7-day pre-fermentation cold soak at 7ºC (45ºF) to gently extract color and aromas. The temperature is then raised to allow fermentation to begin with a combination of natural and commercial yeasts. The process lasts approximately 7 days at 23º–26º C (73º–79º F) and includes 2 pumpovers and punchdowns per day for extraction during fermentation, to maintain the skins at a good temperature, and to aid the yeasts in their work. Once the fermentation is complete, the wine is drained from the tank and the grape skins are gently pressed. The press wine is only partially used to lend additional complexity and volume to the free-run wine. Malolactic fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks. The wine then ages in French oak barrels for 6–7 months and is then lightly filtered and bottled.
Bright ruby red in color, the nose of this Pinot Noir is very fruity with aromas of raspberries, strawberries, and cherries along with a floral touch a bit of well-integrated oak that lends complexity. The light-bodied palate is delicate and fresh with soft and silky tannins and excellent acidity. The red fruit reappears along with a touch of anise and the finish is perfumed and fresh with good balance and pronounced varietal characteristics.
Denomination of Origin: Aconcagua Valley.
Clone Selection: 777, 667, 115. Filtering: Filtered with 2- and 0.8-micron cartridges.
Vineyard Yield: 9–11 tons/ha (4–5 tons/acre).
Grape Variety: Pinot Noir 100%.
Oak Aging: 6–7 months in French oak barrels.
Cellaring Recommendations: Store in a cool, dry place at no more than 15º C (59º F) and away from direct light.
Recommended Serving Temperature: 14º–15º C / 57º–59º C Decanting: 15 minutes.
Food Pairing: Highly recommended with fettuccini Alfredo, soft and creamy soups (mushrooms, chicken), veal chops, salmon, Camembert cheese, mushroom risotto.
Alcohol 13.9 %
Total Acidity (H2SO4) 3.53 g/lt.
Residual Sugar 2.79 g/lt. pH 3.44 g/lt.
Volatile Acidity (C2H4O2) 0.43 g/lt.
Free SO2 0.031 mg/lt.