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Montes Folly Syrah 2016 £47.95
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.
The 2015–2016 season began with a drier winter than the previous year (-7% rainfall in Apalta). However, the unusual rainfall during the second half of October helped maintain water reserves to ensure sufficient availability in the vineyards. The spring was frost free, which allowed for optimal bud break, foliage development, and flowering. There was no significant rainfall during the summer, which began cool, especially in January. February, however, was one of the hottest in recent years. Temperatures dropped in March, which slowed ripening by approximately two weeks. The weather conditions remained favourable until April, despite some heavy downpours.
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 French oak barrels, 80% new and 20% second-use, for 18 months before being blended in tank, gently membrane filtered and bottled.
This wine is deep violet in colour. On the nose, there are intense aromas of ripe red and black fruits with a blend of sweet spices and subtle toast. The French oak is very well-integrated and displays notes of coffee and chocolate. This wine is well-balanced, complex and elegant, with round tannins, tremendous structure, and a long and pleasing finish.
2016 not yet reviewed, this is what they said about 2015...
Decanter.com - 96 Points
Such ‘wow’ factor from the 2015 Montes Folly. The grapes are dry-farmed from an exceptionally steep single vineyard in Colchagua, and this never fails to impress. It's purple-hued from rim to core, steadfastly opaque. Intense blueberry and blackberry aromas unfurl from the glass, while the dense, fruit-laden palate exhibits pepper, juniper, bilberries and kirsch, providing a long, hedonistic finish. 24 months ageing in new French oak has been completely subsumed by the welter of ripe, full fruit, lusciously upholstered with sleek, glistening tannins and life-giving acidity. Magnificently compelling. Drinking Window 2020 - 2032
Reviewed by John Stimpfig
RobertParker.com - 91 Points
"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 likeable by a segment of consumers. 40,000 bottles."
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