Clos Apalta 2016
The Merlot offers up black fruit aromas such as black cherry and blackberry, all with wonderful freshness on the palate. The Cabernet Sauvignon, in particular from old pre-phylloxera vines, offers up aromas of red fruit (raspberry) and black fruit (blackcurrant, blueberry) with some ripe bell pepper and black olive notes. As it matures it develops pepper, crème de cassis, leather and charred notes (smoke, toast and chocolate). The Carmenère, brightly coloured with hints of purple, is rich with rounded tannins. There are delicate cherry aromas on the nose, subtly balanced out by spicy touches of black pepper. Freshness on the palate ensures a beautiful finish of black fruit, smoke, cocoa, leather and tobacco notes.
Blend: 64% Carménère, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot
This wine's ideal companions are canard à l’orange, rack of lamb with rustic mashed potatoes or to finish a meal with a selection of a high percentage cacao chocolate.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2016 Clos Apalta is a blend of 64% Carménère (higher than in 2015), 19% Cabernet Sauvignon and 17% Merlot hitting the scale at 15% alcohol with a pH of 3.7. The Carménère and Cabernet were planted ungrafted in 1920, and all the vineyards are organic and biodynamic (certified) and very low yielding. The hand-destemmed grapes fermented in oak vats and barriques (17%), and the wine went through malolactic and 26 months of aging in brand new French barriques. I've seen a great improvement in Carménère in Chile in the last few years, perhaps since they stopped wanting to grow it everywhere and focused on the places where it grows well, like the Apalta region. They have also learned to tame the green aromas and fierce tannins and alcohol and to produce much more harmonious reds, like this aromatic example that reveals spice, tobacco leaves, red fruit and floral notes without noticeable alcohol or excess ripeness.
Refined, with savory richness to the mineral-infused raspberry, red currant and herbal shadings. Creamy hints emerge midpalate, leading to a crisp, well-structured finish that lingers with slate and cast iron notes. Carmenère, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Drink now through 2025.
A few mature wines still survive from the period that Michel Rolland spent in Chile, including Clos Apalta (a blend of 64% Carménère, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon and 17% Merlot), demonstrating both the effectiveness and richness of the style. Taking an approach that suits the terroir of Apalta in Colchagua, this garnet-hued red offers ripe aromas of jam, camphor and bay leaf that guide the hints of blackberry and an elegant woodiness that encompasses notes of sandalwood and tobacco. A complex wine that reflects its oxidative aging process; after a while, black olives, musk and hazelnuts appear. It is rich on the palate with fine tannins and slightly intense woody notes. A long, mature, open and flavorsome 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.
Well-regarded for intense and exceptionally high quality red wines, the Colchagua Valley is situated in the southern part of Chile’s Rapel Valley, with many of the best vineyards lying in the foothills of the Coastal Range.
Heavy French investment and cutting-edge technology in both the vineyard and the winery has been a boon to the local viticultural industry, which already laid claim to ancient vines and a textbook Mediterranean climate.
The warm, dry growing season in the Colchagua Valley favors robust reds made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Malbec and Syrah—in fact, some of Chile’s very best are made here. A small amount of good white wine is produced from Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
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. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.