Montes - 2006 Limited Selection Cabernet Sauvignon / Carménère

label_montesls_cscaI've been drinking wines from Montes in Chile for many years now. They have many different tiers of wines.  I've personally gone back to those in the Alpha and Classic series most often. But I've found that there is value to be had in each of their categories.  In addition to the various tiers they also have properties in other countries, under their umbrella, that produce wine. Over the next couple of days I'll look at two wines from Montes in Chile and two from Kaiken their Argentine operation. First up is a blend. The 2006 Montes Cabernet Sauvignon/Carménère is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Carménère. 70% of the wine was separately aged in American oak for 6 months. This wine, is one of three, in the Montes Limited Selection series Each of them has a suggested retail price of $17.

Cedar and blackberry notes are prominent in the nose of this wine. Throughout the palate red and black berry fruit notes star alongside, subtle but present, spice notes. Sweet dark chocolate leads the finish, followed by espresso, black pepper and earth notes. The finish is above average in length. This offering is well balanced with good acidity.

I found this wine to be fairly open and accessible from the word go. But it really opened up, and hit a new plateau of expressiveness, after about 45 minutes in the decanter. What I like best about this wine is how the 2 components in the blend work off of each other. The Cabernet provides structure and bright berry fruit. The Carménère softens things up and chips in a round, lush, slightly jammy mouth-feel. Combined together, they form a nice package. This offering should drink well for the next 4-5 years at minimum. While the retail price is $17, wine-searcher shows that it's often available for less than $15.  It pairs well with full flavored foods and drinks nicely on it's own. Taking everything into account, this is a pretty nice value.

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