Posted 03rd December 2012        

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Aurelio Montes is literally a flying vineyard owner. He was in London recently in-between flights to Iceland and Chile to show off his wines. Aurelio’s eponymous winery Montes is well known for their boutique quality wines. It all started in 1987 when Aurelio partnered up with Douglas Murray with the aim of producing quality wines from Chile. At the time, Chile was not yet known for its excellent terroir or the delicious wines that could be produced from the high mountain valleys.

They originally started with Cabernet Sauvignon which have since become world famous along with their M series of Bordeaux style blends. Aurelio however wanted to show us something new that Montes has been working on, the new Outer Limits  range of wines. Montes is not satisfied to rest on their laurels and are constantly looking to push the boundaries of literally where wine can be made in Chile.

To that end, they have discovered a two small parcels of land high up in the Colchagua Valley which have what they believe has unique terroir. One of the vineyards is situated about 7 kms from the coast in an isolated valley. Aurelio told us that they own the water rights to the valley so it would be difficult for any other winery to plant vines in the area. They have planted Pinot Noir in this vineyard, the Zapallar vineyard.

The other vineyard is planted in their iconic estate in Apalta where they have planted Carignan, Grenache and Mouvedre. It was this wine that I had with a plate of salami and cheese the other night. 50% Carignan, 30% Grenache and 20% Mourvedre, the vines are planted at high altitude with a density of 1600 plants per hectare. That’s a lot of vines but Aurelio thinks it’s good for the vines to compete. I quite liked this wine, full of black fruit flavours with refreshing acidity, very well balanced with a good dose of minerality running through the wine. I found it very smooth with a long finished. A rather polished wine, it was very food friendly.

The Outer Limits range from Montes will be available in the UK in the new year, retailing for £24.


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Meet the Author:
Denise Medrano
I'm an American ex-pat who is fascinated by wine. Previous to my arrival in London, I had done a sommelier course in Buenos Aires, Argentina so I knew I wanted to be in the wine trade but where to start? I started where so many people in the UK wine trade start, Oddbins. I was fortunate in that Oddbins back then had a great wine education partnership with the Wine and Spirit Educational Trust and I was able take the WSET courses. I currently have the WSET Advanced Certificate as well as holding a UK personal alcohol license. Another advantage to working at Oddbins was that I had access to all the wine trade shows. Imagine, being able to go and try as many wines as you could in one day! Whew! I have to admit, I didn't do much spitting back then and the next day, I was wishing I had at least taken better notes. I started looking around on the web for blogs that covered the London wine scene and found there were none. Well, none that appealed to me. None that were a mix of trade and consumer views and opinions. And none that really talked about what a great centre of wine this fabulous city of London is. So I rolled up my sleeves, bought a domain name and the rest, as they say, is The Winesleuth history. The Winesleuth Website - Follow The Winesleuth on Twitter