2006 Montes Sauvignon Blanc Limited Selection Leyda Vineyard, Chile
Chile built its reputation on value wines, particularly red wines. This still holds true, but now Chile produces some awesome wines in all price ranges. The Montes Sauvignon Blanc Limited Selection, around $17, is a fantastic wine from the Leyda Valley, from a vineyard only seven miles from the Pacific Ocean. The coastal influence makes for cool growing conditions, so this sauvignon blanc has crisp aromas and flavors of grapefruit, lemon-lime and a hint of pineapple. A clean stoniness and a flinty nose set this wine apart, giving it depth and a strength missing from many sauvignon blancs. No oak ageing and no malolactic fermentation keep the wine fruity and fresh: Drink this wine now or throughout the next year.Because of its flinty and stony nature, pair this white with raw oysters and clams, grilled shrimp and dry goat cheese. Winemaker Aurelio Montes harvests only 2.4 tons of grapes per acre at the Leyda Vineyard, remarkably low for sauvignon blanc. This adds the depth and intensity of the wine and contributes to the mineral and flint characteristics. Aurelio Montes and Douglas Murray formed a partnership in 1987, and with added investors started Montes Winery the following year. They have raised the bar for Chilean wines. Try the Montes Folly Syrah if you can find it the huge, dark beast is expensive, but worth it. Jarrett Osborn | Riverwalk Wine & Spirits
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