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Neyen Espiritu de Apalta 2006
Bordeaux Red Blends from Chile, South America
Intense ruby red. Fresh, complex and equilibrated. Ripe blackberries, cassis and red fruits evolves with elegance in the glass. A fresh, fine and dense attack. Excepcional tanins and structure. Good balance and persistant finishing in the mouth.
Wine Spectator - "The core of blackberry, black Mission fig and mulled currant fruit is ripe and rich, but restrained, while maduro tobacco, loam and dark olive notes weave around the edges. The long, grippy finish is well-integrated. Offers a nice combination of purity and power. Equal parts Carmenère and Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now through 2013. 2,080 cases made. "
The Wine Advocate - "The purple-colored 2006 Espiritu de Apalta is composed of 50% Carmenere, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and 17% Petit Verdot bottled without filtration. It offers a nose of toasty oak, pencil lead, spice box, cinnamon, clove, sage, blueberry, and blackberry. Plush on the palate, it has layered fruit, succulent flavors and a finish which is long and pure. Drink it over the next 8-10 years. "
International Wine Cellar - "Opaque ruby. Exotic scents of black raspberry, cherry, fruitcake, peppery spices and violet; smells almost syrah-like. Lush, sappy dark fruit flavors display liqueur-like depth but are light on their feet, with tangy minerality adding lift and cut. An impressively rich but suave blend with excellent finishing clarity and lingering spiciness."
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The Neyen winery was founded in 2002 on the site of one of Apalta's first wineries, built in 1890. The estate has some of Chile's oldest vineyards, with 120 year old Carmenere and Cabernet Sauvignon vines - pre-phylloxera cuttings imported from Bordeaux in the late 1800s. The Rojas family purchased this property in 1973 and for decades, the rich fruit supplied Chile's top producers. In 2002, the family created Neyen to showcase this remarkable vineyard and bring out the full potential of the ancient vines at Neyen. in 2012, they partnered with the Huneeus family, proprietors of Quintessa in Napa Valley, to bring this hidden gem to the U.S. View all Neyen Wines
About ChileView a map of Chile wineries (CHEE-lay)Long and thin, Chile has a lot of land north to south. The wine region here is a series of districts based near Santiago. The vineyards are protected by the Pacific on the west and the Andes mountains on the east. This could help explain why the climate changes more from east to west than north to south – also why the country has remained phylloxera free. Quite a few wineries in Chile were founded by large French wine companies. Seeing the potential of the country, vineyards were bought and planted by these French folks and the results tell of a smart investment. Some of these wineries include: Los Vascos, Casa Lapostolle and Cousino Macul. And while the inspiration may have been French, but the wines here are quite Chilean.
Photo of the sun break following morning fog over the vineyards of Veramonte Winery (located in the Casablanca Valley)
Notable FactsThe main regions of Chile include Maipo (pronounced MY-poh), known for reds like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere; Casablanca Valley, a region producing delicious Sauvignon Blanc, as well as other whites & some reds; Colchaugua, an inland district creating amazing red wines from Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, particularly in the Apalta sub-region; and Rapel Valley, settled right under Maipo and producing the same red varietals. A couple of smaller regions to watch include Limari and Elqui, two valleys further north, producing some delicious cool-climate Chardonnay and Bio Bio, an area further south, which is also focused on cool-climate varieties. Chilean wines are growing in exports and more consumers are enjoying the delicious values coming from the country. Red wines of the region, though they cannot be generalized, make the whole gamut of wine quality – quaffable to collectible. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Carmenere are the main players, though Syrah is also making a splash. Some of the best reds are blends of the above varieties. As for whites, Sauvignon Blanc is typically crisp, herbal and racy, while Chardonnay is richer in style with full-bodied texture and tropical fruit flavors.
About South AmericaRelated Links:
Young, organically farmed Carmenère at Chile's De Martino estate vineyard
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.