Purple Angel 2006 by Montes DO Valle de Conchagua
92% Carménère and 8% Petit Verdot, 18 months in new French and American oak barrels
I don’t know much about Montes wines, obviously they are famous for Montes Alpha M and the Montes Alpha range of wines, but the only wine of theirs I have previously tried is the Montes Alpha Pinot Noir which I recall as being very good (it was a few years ago)
I have recently been re-discovering Carmenère and I found a bottle of the Montes Purple Angel 2006 which I thought I had to try. My current favourite Carmenères, at varying different price points are Caliterra Tributo Single Vineyard Carménère Boldo Block 2008 (Colchagua), De Martino Carménère Alta de Piedras Single Vineyard 2008 (Isla de Maipo) and Errazuriz KAI Carménère, Dom Maximiano Estate, Acongagua Valley 2007 ( Acongagua).
See Fareham Wine Cellar’s Chilean wines here.
The KAI is superb, the 2006 was fantastic and the 2007 is very good, but I have yet to work out why the price should have doubled in one vintage. I know it won the top prize at the New York May 10th 2010 tasting, but does this justify the price increase? I am not sure. Are Errazuriz chancing their arm?
Anyway, on to Purple Angel 2006. First of all I should probably mention the packaging – whilst it is very smart this, along with Trapiche Single Vineyard Malbec, is probably one of the heaviest wine bottles I have come across. It is as heavy as, if not heavier than, a Champagne bottle. Is this necessary? Not really; and it’s not very green. A lot of wine companies are actively moving towards lighter bottles, indeed Errazuriz, and others, make it a selling point for many of their wines. Wine-makers seem to put their better wines in bigger and heavier bottles in one-upmanship game of “who has got the biggest one”. I digress.
Purple Angel 2006 Tasting Notes
Purple Angel 2006. It is an inky, opaque purple / red colour, it looks viscous and coats the inside of the glass. Concentrated Carménère. There are aromas of dark fruits, plums, blackberry, blackberry confiture, blueberry and then sweet oak / spicy notes – pepper, vanilla and also herbal aromas. There is also something fruit-cakey about it and some lighter, more lifted floral (perhaps violet) notes too. Hints of light oil, but not in an unpleasant way. On the palate the Purple Angel is plush and ripe but perhaps needs a bit of time to open up a bit more. There are flavours of blackberry, plum and more dark, sweet fruits. Slight confectionery flavours, candied fruits of some sort and definite graphite / pencil box. The tannins are ripe and supple already, there is a good acidity which means the wine has a good structure and is not overdone at. It has a clean, mineral and quite elegant, long finish, going on for 30 seconds or more. Montes Purple Angel 2006 is pretty good drinking now but otherwise cellar for up to 10 years.
Pretty good value at around £24 per bottle. 17/20 points.