The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2012

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Page 77 of 128

CHILE Montes Magical A CHILEAN GRAND CRU IS DISCOVERED by Anthony Dias Blue / photos by Erica Bartel R ecently, I hosted a blind tasting of world-class red wines from four continents that included Chilean wines from Viña Montes. The concept was originally suggested by a Jay McInerny column in The Wall Street Journal. The results were surprising and proved conclusively that Chile has terroir that can qualify unreserv- edly as "grand cru," and that Montes can more than hold its own among many of the world's legendary wines. Organized by Montes Wines and TGIC Importers, this double- blind tasting at Hotel Sofitel in Los Angeles featured two flights—a selection of 2004 Bordeaux-style wines and a group of mostly 2004 Rhône varietals—which were tasted by a panel of twelve wine industry professionals. As we sniffed and sipped our way through the flights, which contained wines the likes of Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Montelena and, of course, Viña Montes, every wine showed exquisite quality. Guessing the prov- enance of each was daunting and virtually impossible; all were complex, rich and well crafted, blurring the lines as to where Bordeaux and Napa ended and Chile began. At the tasting (left to right): TGIC Importers owner Alex Guarachi, THE TASTING PANEL's Anthony Dias Blue and Montes founder and winemaker Aurelio Montes. Montes Alpha M, from Chile's Apalta Vineyard, proved itself in a field that included some of the world's greatest grand cru wines. august 2012 / the tasting panel / 77

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