Apaltagua Reserva Pinot Noir 2016
Apaltagua, owned by the seven Donoso Silva brothers, has a missionary-like zeal in its dedication to, and excitement about, the carmenère grape. The winery produces three levels of carmenère-based wines: Apaltagua Estate Carmenère, Apaltagua Envero Carmenère, and Apaltagua Grial Carmenère. Much of the fruit comes from ungrafted, 60-year old carmenère vines all located on the family estate in the prestigious Apalta district of Chile. The resulting wines are exceptionally good, with a chocolately richness and a peppery edge, combining the best attributes of merlot and cabernet sauvignon in one grape.
Bordering the Coastal Range in the west, and stretching as far east as the foothills of the Andes, the Curicó Valley has two major mesoclimates that allow it the potential to offer a great diversity of high quality wines. In the east around Molina and north of the Claro River, the chilling winds coming off of the Andes make this part of the valley cooler. In the west, the Coastal Range protects inland wine growing areas from the Pacific Ocean, making it hotter and drier. The valley can support a large range of grape varieties within these climatic variations.
In 1979 Miguel Torres, Spain’s largest family-owned producer of premium wine based in Penedès in northeastern Spain, invested heavily in the area. By introducing many modern technologies, Torres put the Curicó Valley on the international wine map and strengthened Chile's presence in the global wine market.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”