Sunday, June 2, 2013

Montes 2006 Limited Selection Cabernet Sauvignon/Carmenere (Chile)

At times I get in a little hot water for this column (and my other two aged wine columns: Taste it Again / Lost & Found) for waiting too long to enjoy some of these bottles I review.  Comments and emails from winemakers that tell me it wasn't fair to write about it because the wine was "past its prime", "too old", "never meant to age this long", etc. etc. etc.  But that's the nature of both the business and people - you don't always get to a bottle on time within its peak period, especially if you collect bottles of fermented grapes.  The purpose of this column is to discover wines at various stages of their lifespan:  some have over-shot their mark, some are too early in their life and other are exactly where they need to be (reached their fullest potential).  If you want to enjoy wine you have to be willing to accept the good with the bad.  All this is preamble to a so-so bottle of Montes 2006 Limited Selection Cabernet Sauvignon/Carmenere, a 70/30 blend from Chile.  I have tasted this wine at better stages in its life ... now some 7 years from vintage date things are a little drier than the fruit forward wine I remember.  The nose is dried mint with clove and dried blackberries.  The palate is all over the place, in both good and bad ways.  Dried mint shows, as it does on the nose, along with the dried blackberries, cassis and saliva-sucking tannins ... the finish is an interesting blend of cassis, mint, cedar, and pencil shavings with some clove and anise thrown in for seasoning.  Missed the sweet spot of this wine?  For sure, but it's an interesting older wine that deserved to be discovered in this state.

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