Clos Apalta 2004
Color: Deep ruby with purple shadows.
Nose: Very fresh and intense pure fruit. Aromas of ripe blueberries and concentrated black fruit dominate on an inviting, full and complex nose.
Mouth: Plum on the palate, with toasty oak supporting firm acidity and integrated tannins. An elegant, well balanced, wine with deep, rich fruit, fine polish anda long finish.
Everything starts in 1994 when Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle and her husband Cyril de Bournet first arrived in Chile’s Colchagua Valley. They quickly realized its potential for producing world-class wines. This ideal setting, which was revitalized in 1995, was home to vines originating from pre-phylloxera rootstock brought from Bordeaux in the middle of XIX century. Member of a renowned family that has been dedicated for several generations to the production of high-quality spirits and wines, Alexandra with legendary wine expertise, brought exceptional French winemaking practices to Chile and pioneered the development of fine quality wines from the region. Today it is Charles de Bournet Marnier Lapostolle, seventh generation of the family, who holds the reins of the Winery. Together with him is Jacques Begarie, Technical Director & Winemaker, under the advice of the famous winemaker Michel Rolland, who is personally involved in the whole production of Clos Apalta. In its short history, Clos Apalta wines have consistently ranked highly (90+ points) among reputable wine trade publications, a testament of the rigorous standards implemented at the winery to produce outstanding wines. Clos Apalta's philosophy is as simple as it is ambitious: to express terrois in the wines, looking for excellence, elegance and character in a handcrafted wine that can talk about the amazing place that is the Apalta Valley.
Dramatic geographic and climatic changes from west to east make Chile an exciting frontier for wines of all styles. Chile’s entire western border is Pacific coastline, its center is composed of warm valleys and on its eastern border, are the soaring Andes Mountains.
Chile’s central valleys, sheltered by the costal ranges, and in some parts climbing the eastern slopes of the Andes, remain relatively warm and dry. The conditions are ideal for producing concentrated, full-bodied, aromatic reds rich in black and red fruits. The eponymous Aconcagua Valley—hot and dry—is home to intense red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot.
Chilly breezes from the Antarctic Humboldt Current allow the coastal regions of Casablanca Valley and San Antonio Valley to focus on the cool climate loving varieties, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Chile’s Coquimbo region in the far north, containing the Elqui and Limari Valleys, historically focused solely on Pisco production. But here the minimal rainfall, intense sunlight and chilly ocean breezes allow success with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The up-and-coming southern regions of Bio Bio and Itata in the south make excellent Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Spanish settlers, Juan Jufre and Diego Garcia de Cáceres, most likely brought Vitis vinifera (Europe’s wine producing vine species) to the Central Valley of Chile sometime in the 1550s. One fun fact about Chile is that its natural geographical borders have allowed it to avoid phylloxera and as a result, vines are often planted on their own rootstock rather than grafted.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.
Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends
Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines, modeled after the Right Bank, are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure.
Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends
Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.
Sommelier Secrets for Bordeaux Blends
While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.