Thu | Nov 23, 2017

Montes -The Guardian Angel

Published:Thursday | April 30, 2015 | 12:00 AMJason Clarke
Selects Brands', Debra Taylor pouring the Montes Classic Sauvignon Blanc.
The range of Montes wines- Montes Alpha Sauvignon Blanc, Montes Classic Sauvignon Blanc, Montes Classic Merlot and Montes Purple Angel
Montes Classic Sauvignon Blanc
Kristina Kerr with a signature 3 Liter bottle of Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon. Hope she doesn't plan to have it all.
Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon and Classic Sauvignon Blanc with Roquefort Beef Filet Bites
From left: Montes Representative, Chris Jones in discussion with Debra Taylor and Gleaner Wine columnist, Jason Clarke.
Chris Jones and wine lady Debra Taylor make a toast to great wine.
Bacon Jam Crostini
Delicious chicken and mushroom on a flatbread
From left: Matthew Pragnell, Gia Abrahams and Jenny Pragnell enjoying an evening of fine wine.
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Every now and again I find myself in a privileged position to experience great wines with wine lovers like myself and amazing food pairings.

This time was one of those occasions at a tasting experience with Chris Jones, who represents the Montes line of wines from Chile. Fromage played host, and was right on the money with each pairing.

A sampling of five wines made for an interesting evening of playful flavours that would make anyone break into their happy dance.

The Montes winemakers took a different approach to winemaking - born with the philosophy - why settle for making good wine when one can make really great wine. Attention to detail is the order of the day and although a fairly young company - born in 1988 - its principals collectively have over 100 years of experience in the winemaking industry, making some truly exceptional wines.

In talking with Jones, I was surprised to learn that while the wines are in barrels for their varying times, they listen to Gregorian music - makes the wine happy.

Montes Classic Sauvignon Blanc is a beautiful pale yellow wine with nice grassy notes and crisp acidity. Delicate notes of tropical fruits make for an interesting experience. I see this being a great summer wine for lounging by a pool, lying on the beach or just enjoying over lunch. The winemakers certainly paid particular attention in finding just the right balance to make you smile after the first sip.

Montes Alpha Pinot Noir is amazingly delicate with a beautiful nose. Not quite light and lacking character like other Pinot Noirs - it has berry-like nose which has you thinking 'Aye-Mami' and amazing flavours in your mouth. It is truly an impressive kind of mid-body wine which makes it more amiable as an early summer starter. What is nice is it becomes an easy transition from the crisp cold whites, particularly when served at the right temperature to something with character, charm and style. This Pinot Noir really complements meats, and was paired with morsels of beef with a blue cheese sauce which was simply yummy. Not to mention well-balanced flavours in your mouth. Complex flavours are the order of the day, and is a direct result of the wine being aged for a year in oak.

Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon is like a mellow jazz beat with an occasional sax to add life. Full of body and a nose that has you wondering. I suppose the elements of French oak and the delicate nature it produces gives birth to a stable, smoky kind of wine. It is clear it inspired creativity with Fromage who paired it with a bacon jam crustini which leaves me with one comment: "Turn up!"

The evening ended with a big, bold, almost larger than life 50 Shades of Grey, purple Angel. This blend is 92 per cent carmenere which is the dominant varietal in Chile, and harvested early morning by hand then fermented in French oak for 18 months. When paired with dark chocolate, this is sinfully decadent. Its intense dark colour, strong presence and distinct nose make for an exquisite addition to any wine collection.

- I am not an expert, merely a wine enthusiast sharing my thoughts and experiences. Feel free to share your own experiences at wineenthusiastja@gmail.com.