Napa Angel Cabernet Sauvignon 2007,
“Full bodied and somewhat woody in style, this is a very good Cabernet with rich fruitiness (cassis, blackberry, cherry) and layers of oak complexity (tobacco, toast, oak). Long aftertaste. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels. [2014-2017]. Montes U.S.A., Napa Valley, $420 ($52.50).“
As 2009 comes to a close, some great news before starting to celebrate Christmas and New Year: our dear wines from Napa Valley, California, were distinguished by Wine Enthusiast magazine with truly fantastic ratings, as follows:
97 Points: Napa Angel Aurelio’s Selection 2006
92 Points: Napa Angel Reserve 2006
These will appear in the March 2010 issue, on sale next month. Considering this is our first vintage, it is extremely encouraging to fetch such high ratings from a widely respected wine magazine.
92 Points: Napa Angel (Montes) Cabernet Sauvignon Aurelio's Selection 2006
“Chilean winemaker, Aurelio Montes, joins an elite crowd of high-achievers in Napa Valley with a stunning pair of new Cabernet releases. This, the winery's flagship bottling, is a substantial and serious wine by any and all measures, and its combination of concentrated curranty fruit, lavish oak and rich, loam and tobacco-leaf qualities will win loud applause from all who champion hedonistic, optimally ripened, fullflavored Cabs. For all of its up-front appeals, however, it is a solidly structured wine that cries out for age, and it is bound to get better for a decade or more. $90.00.“
90 Points: Napa Angel (Montes) Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
“Deep, impressively extracted and brimming with lots of keenly defined and carefully oaked Cabernet fruit, this nicely crafted effort is at once both very rich and shows a fine sense of proportion and polish that wins it high marks. It has lots to offer the impatient drinker, but its greatest strength lies in structure and balance, and it promises to age famously
for five years and more in the cellar. $55.00.“
Napa Angel 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon by Montes
“After making a huge mark on the wine map in Chile, wine pioneer Aurelio Montes set his eyes on a new goal. 20 years of award winning wines, from the slopes of Apalta in the Colchagua Valley at Viña Montes,were not enough. In 2006 Aurelio brought his genius and ebullient spirit to California and set out to make this beautiful wine, Napa Angel.
I had the good fortune to taste this rich wine recently. While I know this wine will be even better in a few years, it is delicious now. Decanting is recommended at least an hour before serving. For this you will be rewarded with a wine of extraordinary essence and character.
In the creation of this wine the Napa Angel team, with the help of Larry Levin, former head winemaker at Franciscan, set out to do “exactly as we did in Chile and Argentina, in Napa Valley we started by purchasing grapes in the areas that Aurelio thought more suited for his creations. Aurelio searched for the best grapes he could find mainly in three regions of Napa Valley, Yountville, Coombsville and Oak Knoll”.
Using techniques he perfected in Chile and Argentina, a wine was born abundant in deep rich fruit, with flavors of cassis, plums, cocoa, cedar, walnuts and light smoke. It has a nice full mouthfeel and beautiful color. Well balanced, disciplined and present. Look for this wine.”
“Many drinkers of Chilean wines know that Aurelio Montes is one of that country’s leading vintners. His wines range from the under-$15 “classic series” of wines (the cabernet sauvignon is a standout) to high-end wines like the Montes Alpha M, a cab-based blend, and Purple Angel, which is mostly carmenère. Now he's embarked on a cabernet sauvignon project in the Napa Valley.
Two wines were recently released under the label Napa Angel by Montes. The top wine is the 2006 Aurelio’s Selection Cabernet Sauvignon ($90), made from grapes grown in the Oak Knoll and Yountville appellations at the cooler southern end of the valley. The wine is ripe and plush, with blackberry and cassis flavors, accented by some nice spice notes. It starts out soft and velvety, then the tannins firm up, leading to a long, drying finish.
I actually preferred the less expensive 2006 Napa Angel Cabernet Sauvignon ($55) in a blind tasting of Napa cabs. The grapes for this wine are from the Coombsville area of southern Napa, as well as Knights Valley in Sonoma County, and 10 percent of the blend is syrah.
The wine doesn’t have quite the concentration of the Aurelio’s Selection, but it’s livelier and very well-balanced, with black cherry fruit, hints of anise and roasted coffee and firm structure. Both wines benefit from decanting an hour or so before serving.
Just published in the most important daily newspaper in Seoul, Korea. It describes the launching of Napa Angel in Seoul by our importer Nara Food.
칠레 와인 돌풍의 주역 몬테스가 ‘나파 엔젤’(Napa Angel) 로 다시 한 번 국내 와인 애호가들의 마음을 설레게 할 전망이다. 지난 29일 서울 반포동 JW메리어트호텔에서 ‘나파 엔젤 론칭쇼’가 열렸다. 이날 천사 복장을 한 두 모델 사이에 자리 잡은 와인은 몬테스가 새롭게 선보인 ‘나파 엔젤’과 ‘나파 엔젤 아우렐리오스 셀렉션’. 신세계 까베르네 소비뇽의 수도로 여겨지는 나파 밸리에서 탄생시킨 이 와인은 몬테스의 야심찬 도전작이다.
몬 테스의 회장이자 와인메이커 아우렐리오 몬테스는 “20여 년 전 꿈을 가진 네 명의 사람이 6000달러를 들고 몬테스를 설립했다. 당시 6000달러면 좋은 자동차를 한 대 살 수 있는 돈에 불과했지만 이제는 세계적인 수준의 와인을 만드는 회사가 됐다. 몬테스에 있어 세계에서 두 번째로 큰 시장인 한국에서 나파 엔젤을 소개하기 위해 이번에 방문했다. 기분 좋게 즐겨 달라”고 소감을 밝혔다.
Montes, one of Chile's leading fine wine brands, has just released its first Napa wines, the Montes NapaAngel 2006 and the Montes NapaAngel Aurelio's Selection 2006. Montes founders Aurelio Montes and Douglas Murray came to San Francisco to launch the first release, as did export manager director Carlos Serrano. Made from purchased fruit from the Coombsville, Stags Leap, Yountville and Rutherford AVAs, the Napa wines were shown Monday with the other Cabernet-based wines from the Colchagua/Apalta region of Chile (Montes Alpha M) and Mendoza, Argentina (the Kaiken series) that Montes produces. The NapaAngel project is a joint venture with Montes longtime importer Alex Guarachi, of TGIC wine importers in Woodland Hills, with Montes owning 54 percent. All the wines bore a very remarkable similarity: big, high alcohol wines, lush-textured, new oak-influenced, with dense soft tannins. The angel is a big theme for Montes, appearing on all its labels and as a sculpture at its main estate in the Colchagua Valley of Chile. The Montes NapaAngel will retail for $55 and the Montes NapaAngle Aurelio's Selection will sell for $90, the same prices as the Montes Alpha M. Montes is also developing a project in Paso Robles and plans to release a wine from that AVA next year.
Chile has historically provided fertile ground for outside wine companies to invest in, with big names such as Lafite Rothschild, Mouton-Rothschild and other high-profile vintners involved in ventures there. But now, Viña Montes—one of Chile’s biggest names—is turning the tables with its own project in a high-profile region, becoming the first Chilean winery to set up shop in California. Production of two Cabernet-based wines is slated for the 2006 vintage.
“We are in Napa because we love challenges, and we want to prove ourselves against the big names in the valley,” said Viña Montes co-owner and head winemaker Aurelio Montes.
Montes, considered one of Chile’s most experienced and respected winemakers, will source grapes from Napa Valley vineyards in the Oakville, Stags Leap and Yountville districts for the as-yet-unnamed project. Montes has a one-year contract for grapes in 2006, and then will begin to look for longer-term sources.
“My policy in every country, even in Chile, is to sign long-term contracts only when the quality of grapes has been proven,” said Montes. “Napa is no different, so we will be scanning the whole area to get hold of the best grapes in the region in the long term.”
The top wine, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, will retail for around $70, while a second wine made primarily from Cabernet Sauvignon with small percentages of other varieties, possibly including Syrah again, is earmarked for a $45 price point. Total production for the project is slated to be around 6,600 cases in the 2006 vintage, with plans to grow to about 15,000 cases, one-third of which will be the top wine. Montes will make the wines at the Artesa winery facility located in Carneros. Montes is considering building his own facility down the road, assuming the project flourishes.
Montes is no stranger to high-end Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, as his top Chilean wines (Alpha M and Folly), which feature these varieties, have been among the top-rated wines from Chile in recent years.
In Napa, Montes will have local help. Working with him as a consultant on the project is Larry Levin, former head winemaker at Franciscan. The two met while Levin was at Franciscan, and they kept in touch while Levin consulted at Chile’s Veramonte winery.
The Napa project comes on the heels of Montes’ expansion into Argentina, along with a newly built winery in Chile's Colchagua Valley for Montes' existing brands.