Montes Alpha Carmenere Review

Montes Alpha CarmenereMontes Alpha Carmenère comes from the Colchagua Valley in Chile.

It’s composed of 90% Carmenère and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.

According to the tasting notes, the grape vine’s leaves that are closest to the grape bunches are removed during the growing season to leave them totally exposed.  This is said to achieve “even ripening and good levels of acidity and phenolic potential.”

From the bottle:

12 months in French oak barrels lend complexity and toasted aromas that pair very well with the fruity characteristics of the Carmenère.

For more information about this wine, check out the Montes Wines website.

Montes Alpha Carmenère Reviewed

I tasted the 2013 vintage of Montes Alpha Carmenère and let it stand in the glass for several minutes before tasting.

Decanting is recommended for 30 minutes, per the wine’s tasting notes.

Sample received for review purposes.


Deep ruby red in the glass, this wine does let some red reflections come through.

It is a leggy red, with numerous thick legs that fell at different time frames.


When I first poured this wine, I immediately noted a bold jammy blackberry aroma.

After letting the wine sit in the glass I leaned in for a second sniff.  Upon doing so, I picked up more notes of blackberry but with a spicy twist.

I also discovered a bit of coffee and toast along with a good spicy sting in the nose.

Montes Alpha Carmenère alcohol content 14.5% by volume, per the bottle.

All in all, an enjoyable and long lasting aroma that led me to expect dark fruit forward flavors.


The wine’s taste was complex and enjoyable with a dual approach.

First there was a combination of red and black fruits on the palate.

Following that were secondary notes of coffee and allspice along with a little bit of oak.

Mouthfeel and Tannins

Montes Alpha Carmenère had a soft mouthfeel with just a light dryness noted.

Tannins were present, round and balanced nicely with the wine’s flavors.


The wine’s finish was medium to long.

There was also a nice transition from the flavors to the dryness of the tannins.

The tannins lingered all over the palate.

Overall Opinion

Being the first 90% Carmenère I’ve reviewed I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

However, I found the wine to be quite enjoyable.  It presented itself as well crafted, complex and balanced.

I liked that the various components of the wine complimented and balanced each other well.

Montes Alpha Carmenère price $19.99.

Suggested Food Pairing

Montes Alpha suggests “red meats, Chinese beef and vegetables, pork chops, spaghetti with Bolognese sauce, lamb chops and mushroom ravioli.”


  1. Tried to send this via e-mail, but it wouldn’t go thru as “suspected spam”.

    Was wondering if – since you admit that you receive free “samples” for
    reviewing – if you’ve ever received & honestly reviewed a wine that you fr
    ankly did not like, for whatever reason?

    I mean, we’re not technical neophytes & enjoy trying everything/anythi
    ng, but have come across wines that we wouldn’t recommend to anyone else re
    gardless of their experience.
    Ever come across any of those & “honestly” review them, even if you receive
    d a free sample?
    Bonnie C.

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