2016 Montes, `Folly` Apalta Vineyard Syrah

2016 Montes, `Folly` Apalta Vineyard Syrah

2016 Montes, `Folly` Syrah


Montes was established in 1988 by Aurelio Montes, Douglas Murray, Alfredo Vidaurre and Pedro Grand, with the aim of producing the best wines in Chile from the best regions. We have long admired Montes and what they have done for Chilean wine over the past three decades. Their wines are consistently good because they are meticulous throughout the entire production process.


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Case size: 6 / Bottle size: 750ml

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Tasting Notes

Critics Score: 96

Publication: James Suckling

Incredibly complex with sweet-tobacco, iron, blackberry, black-olive and dried-strawberry aromas. Full body, ultra-refined tannins and a rich finish. Harvested before the rains. Juicy tannins. Very structured and big style, but shows balance. Drink or hold.

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2016 Montes, `Folly` Apalta Vineyard Syrah

One of Chile’s first ultra-premium Syrahs, this is rich and smoky, with great concentration of ripe, supple tannins and a smooth leathery, pepper and spice character to the palate. Single vineyard intensity shows through in the long, fragrant finish.

The Syrah grapes are sourced from a single parcel on the highest, steepest slopes of Apalta's 'Finca Apalta', arguably one of the finest sites for red wine grape growing in Chile. Vines are planted on 45° slopes providing good exposure to aid ripening. Despite being 60 kilometres from the ocean, its cool breezes moderate this warm area. Low night-time temperatures further prolong ripening, allowing for the slow development and retention of varietal aromas and acidity. Yields are very small at 3.5-4 tonnes per hectare.

Grapes underwent a meticulous dual sorting process in the winery, once by machine using camera 'eyes' to reject less than perfect grapes, and once by hand. Only perfect berries made the final cut for this wine. Fruit underwent cold soaking for five days at 10°C to extract aroma and colour, before fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks for 12-15 days. Following this, the wine spent 15-20 days on skins to enhance structure and colour. After malolactic fermentation, the wine was aged in French oak barrels, 80% new and 20% second-use, for 18 months before being blended in tank, gently membrane filtered and bottled.

The 2015–2016 season began with a drier winter than the previous year (-7% rainfall in Apalta). However, the unusual rainfall during the second half of October helped maintain water reserves to ensure sufficient availability in the vineyards. The spring was frost free, which allowed for optimal bud break, foliage development, and flowering. There was no significant rainfall during the summer, which began cool, especially in January. February, however, was one of the hottest in recent years. Temperatures dropped in March, which slowed ripening by approximately two weeks. The weather conditions remained favourable until April, despite some heavy downpours.