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Montes Folly Syrah 2015 £46.95
Montes Folly Syrah
Montes was established in 1988 by Aurelio Montes, Douglas Murray, Alfredo Vidaurre and Pedro Grand, with the aim of producing the best wines in Chile from the best regions. We have long admired Montes and what they have done for Chilean wine over the past three decades. Their wines are consistently good because they are meticulous throughout the entire production process.
Syrah grapes are sourced from a single parcel on the highest, steepest slopes of Apalta's 'Finca Apalta', arguably one of the finest sites for red wine grape growing in Chile. Vines are planted on 45° slopes providing good exposure to aid ripening. Despite being 60 kilometres from the ocean, its cool breezes moderate this warm area. Low night-time temperatures further prolong ripening, allowing for the slow development and retention of varietal aromas and acidity. Yields are very small at 3.5-4 tonnes per hectare.
Winter saw enough rainfall to replenish water reserves in the soil to last the whole season. There was no spring frost of significance anywhere in the valley, and budbreak was followed by good fruit set. Summer temperatures were particularly warm, with historically high peaks in March and an average that was 1.5ºC higher than that recorded over the past 10 years. Nevertheless, the grapes reached harvest time with no dehydration problems, and with balanced potential alcohol levels, pH and natural acidity. It was a year of beneficially high light levels and temperatures, which allowed the fruit to develop disease free, with very good colour, and an excellent degree of phenolic ripeness.
Grapes underwent a meticulous dual sorting process in the winery, once by machine using camera 'eyes' to reject less than perfect grapes, and once by hand. Only perfect berries made the final cut for this wine. Fruit underwent cold soaking for five days at 10°C to extract aroma and colour, before fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks for 12-15 days. Following this, the wine spent 15-20 days on skins to enhance structure and colour. After malolactic fermentation, the wine was aged in 100% new French oak barrels for 18 months before being blended in tank, gently membrane filtered and bottled.
Intense ruby red in colour, this wine is elegant and complex. The aromas are pronounced with blueberries and blackcurrants, and light notes of chocolate and subtle toast. Balanced, with round tannins, tremendous structure, and a long and pleasing finish.
The Wine Advocate
"With pungent black olive and oily aromas and a strong impact from the élevage in oak, the 2015 Folly is a showy Syrah produced in a big and powerful style and bottled in a bulky Burgundian bottle. It's produced in an oaky style, closer to Guigal than to Clape, with abundant dusty tannins and oak-related flavors. It's a big Syrah for fans of oaky reds, though the wine should integrate the wood as time goes by. It has almost four grams of residual sugar, which makes it more approachable and likable by a segment of consumers. 40,000 bottles."
Montes is one of the better-known names from Chile. They have a wide portfolio that totals nine million bottles per year.
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