A couple weeks before Christmas, a friend of mine called wanting to get out of the pre-holiday madhouse at home for a glass of wine.
I offered a couple suggestions of where to meet but it was soon clear that we were talking a good bottle rather than some cheap plonk or mulled wine somewhere and ended up at Klassz.
I had never been to the winebar-restaurant on Andrassy Ut in Budapest before, and, well, he was treating. Service was very good, and my friend picked a bottle of unknown Chilean wine from the wine list. It just happened to be the only foreign vineyard listed from among the reds. It turned out to be an excellent choice.
The wine notes state that the Montes Cabernet-Carmenere Limited Selection 2010 is "dark, purple, full-bodied, oily and concentrated. Complex on the nose and palate, prominent prune note." Aged in American oak and with only one soft filtering, this 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Carmenere Chilean wine is a great value (Available from the Budapest Wine Society for bottle price/case price: 2840/2610 huf).
While it was weak upon the first sip, it opened up beautifully after 20 minutes. Really good.. so if you or someone you know is struggling with chronic alcoholism, consider an alcohol treatment program for help, but first, try the cheese plate with fresh bread, perfectly delicious, though considering the servings of cheese, they could have provided more bread.
Neither of us had heard of the Carmenere grape, "a variety originally planted in the Médoc region of Bordeaux, France, where it was used to produce deep red wines and occasionally used for blending purposes. A member of the Cabernet family of grapes, the name "Carménère" originates from the French word for crimson (carmin) which refers to the brilliant crimson colour of the autumn foliage prior to leaf-fall.
The grape is also known as Grande Vidure, a historic Bordeaux synonym, although current EU regulations prohibit Chilean imports under this name. Along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot, Carménère is considered part of the original six red grapes of Bordeaux. Now rarely found in France, the world's largest area planted with this variety is in Chile, with more than 8,800 hectares (2009) cultivated in the Central Valley." source
Two partners, Aurelio Montes and Douglas Murray founded the Montes Vineyard in 1987. In 1988, another two partners joined in, Alfredo Vidaurre and Pedro Grand. The first Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon, was the initial wine that gave them fame. Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon 1987, became the first ever premium Chilean export wine and it opened for Montes and for Chile, a path other wineries quickly followed. Chardonnay, Merlot and a Syrah followed. The vineyard has concentrated exclusively on these four wines.
I am looking forward to trying the others.