Monday, July 20, 2015

Wines of Chile: Montes Wines

Founded in 1987 by Aurelio Montes and Douglas Murray, both wine professionals wanting to realize their dream of producing Chilean wines of high quality.  In 1988 they partnered with Alfredo Vidaurre and Pedro Grand and Montes Wines came to fruition.

In 2004 the winery was built that holds 2,3000,000 liters of wine.  It is a state of the art gravity flow winery that was built on the principles of feng shui to ensure harmony in a positive atmosphere.  Water flows towards the building so that prosperity will come if the water, representing energy, flows towards the center of the building.

They have always believed in caring for the environment and developing a sustainable practices throughout every phase of production. They aim to understand how all the natural ecosystems around the vineyard provide services to the vineyard.  They work with the benefits that nature provides. This is an ongoing process.

They employ a full time agronomist that studies the science and technology of producing and using the plants for food and fuel in the vineyard.  This involves all areas of plant genetics, plant physiology, meterology and soil science.

I had the privilege to taste two of Montes wines and I was blown away by both of them.

Montes Spring Harvest 2015 Sauvignon Blanc At first sip three words came out of our mouth- Oh Yea, Wow! This comes from their vineyard located in the Leyda Valley where the soil is granite and clay.

The wine had a nice straw color and beautiful aromas were coming from the glass. Juicy pineapple, grapefruit, lime, hint of jasmine and peach.  The palate was crisp with balanced acidity.

Best part, this wine retails for $14.  I served it with Wasabi Salmon.

Montes Alpha 2012 Carmenére is one of the best Carmenére I've tasted, and I've tasted quite a few. The grapes for this wine are from their Colchagua Valley vineyards and they are grown under their dry farming philosophy.  That means they are farmed sustainable with less water and that challenges the grapes and generates flavor.

The wine had notes of black cherry, coffee, and dark chocolate.  There was some nice plum fruit the shined through with a black pepper finish that lingered a bit.

This wine is a steal at $20. I paired this with Peruvian Shish Kabobs.

Wasabi Glazed Grilled Salmon

1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp wasabi powder (more if you really want to clean out your sinuses)
juice of 1 lime
1 lb salmon

Mix all of the above for the marinade in a bowl.  Marinade salmon for about 30 minutes before grilling.


Peruvian Shish-Kabobs

1 pound of beef cubes for shish-kabobs
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar

Mix all above except beef.  Then add beef and marinade for 2 hours.  Thread the beef onto skewers and grill



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