2010 Purple Angel by Montes

I have had Montes wines
Posted 04th March 2013        

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Purple Angel 2010I have had Montes wines in the past and I think they are great Chilean producers. The concept behind Montes was two friends, Aurelia Montes and Douglas Murray, who were also wine professionals in Chile, who wanted to take a leap into the premium market and show the world that Chile could produce more than just table wine.

And so in the last 1980s they took the leap along with two other partners and founded Montes Wines. Montes has always been a 100% Chilean effort. They eschew consultancies or joint ventures with foreign companies and are proud of their Chilean roots.

They first became known for their Bordeaux style blends but  they have since branched out and produce wines made from Syrah and more interestingly from Carmenere. Carmenere was once a common grape used in the production of Bordeaux but after phylloxera hit the region in the 1880s, it was thought to be a lost grape. That is until the Chileans rediscovered the grape in their vineyards. For many years they thought it was Merlot and it wasn’t until the late ’80s that tests were done and it was realized that what they had been calling Merlot was actually the lost grape of Bordeaux, Carmenere. The variety is now known as a “Chilean” variety – some even call it a “Jurassic Park” grape because it has come back from extinction.

Montes has taken Carmenere and made it into a premium wine. They are proud that it is considered a grape of Chile and produce a Carmenere-led blend which comes from the Colchagua Valley. It’s not a 100% blend however. They feel that Carmenere on its own needs a little bit of help and so they add 8% Petit Verdot to give it a slight spicy edge.

I tried the 2010 Purple Angel not long ago and it is deep and rich wine. It’s quite complex with a sweet vanilla nose, hints of mint and red pepper, sweet black fruit on the palate and hints of mint, fresh black fruits, blackberry and even raspberry.  A supple and smooth, mouth-watering wine with a ripe black fruit and damson plum finish. This is a wine that can be drunk on its own or with a juicy steak.

The Purple Angel is available from Majestic Wines and retails for £30.


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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