About This Wine...
100% Syrah, 18 months in French oak barrels. The vines for this wine grow in two different terroirs: granite soil on the arid slopes at Chavanay, bringing to the wine a spicey, floral and mineral side, and then opposite this, on the left bank, the other vines grow surrounded by the ‘galets roulés’ of the Rhône – these rounded quartz stones heated by the daytime sunshine, then radiate out this warmth at night, which helps the concentration and ripening of the grapes.
“this wine offers fantastic value for money” John Wilson, Wilson on Wine 2018
“Tantalising violet aromas, succulent dark cherry and blackcurrant fruits with a reviving freshness.” John Wilson in The Irish Times, June 2017
“With aromas of dark berry fruits, leather and spice, it tastes rich and meaty, perhaps even a little gamey, with a juicy core and what seems like a delicate twist of black pepper leading into a long finish. This impressive depth of flavour is packed into a svelte body which registers just 12.5% alcohol by volume, making Les Hauts du Monteillet Syrah a bottle that you can return to a couple of times over a leisurely dinner without feeling that your head has begun to spin. The silky texture, achieved with super-fine tannins, is seductive too.” Mary Dowey in The Gloss Magazine, January 2017
“one of my favorite young wine growers in the Northern Rhône” (Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #204, Dec 2012
“Stéphane Montez is part of a generation that changed the face of French winemaking and is one of the rising stars of the northern Rhône” John Wilson, Irish Times
The Montez family live in a remote hamlet, high above the Rhône River in Chavanay, 40 kms south of Lyon. The domaine is sandwiched between the precipitous vineyard slopes that fall away to the Rhône River below and the imposing Mont du Pilat which rises behind. The family has been making wine in the region for ten generations although their rise to prominence really only began with Antoine Montez, the father of Stéphane, the current bearer of the Montez legacy. Today the wines produced at the domaine range from IGP to St. Joseph, Condrieu and Côte Rôtie.
Stéphane Montez’s wine making technique remains at heart very pragmatic with each vintage bringing separate challenges. Essentially his reds are still made by harvesting as early in the day as possible, whole or partial de-stemming, lightly crushing a percentage of the grapes when pumping them into tanks and then keeping them at around 16°C for up to 48 hours before allowing the fermentation to begin. He has begun to use more stems when vinifying his top red wines as he believes they help bring an extra dimension to the wines on the palate. He employs pump overs, déléstage and cap submersion as his primary extraction techniques but will still do occasional punch downs when he deems fit.
All the reds are barrel aged with malolactic fermentation always taking place in barrel. The source of the barrels, their age and size, vary depending on the wine but he has an increasing liking for 600 litre demi-muids. In the right vintage he will do a twelve hour skin maceration for his top whites in order to extract not only extra flavour but also some of the available proteins to aid yeast fermentation.