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Flat front label of wine

Lapostolle Clos Apalta 1997

Bordeaux Red Blends from Chile
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0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

The color of the Clos Apalta is intense and the density is readily apparent. The bouquet provides an explosion of red fruit, blackberry, black cherry and vibrant notes of raspeberry. The oak aging contributes a toasted vanilla and balsamic-like element in the nose. Then, instead of dispersing, all the scents blend together to give greater complexity, precious wood and cedar notes. On the palate, the first impression is density and volume. The wine is round, full and very concentrated. Slowly, a gentle tannic structure appears which provides the wine with a solid and well-structured character. The finish is long, velvety and silky.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 96
James Suckling
This is the first vintage of this wine and shows phenomenal depth and power. Full body, chewy and focused. Tannic yet polished. Love the chocolate and currant flavors. A blend of 95% merlot/carmenere and 5% cabernet sauvignon.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
One thousand, eight hundred cases of this extraordinary wine were produced from the oldest (50 years average age) non-irrigated vines controlled by Casa Lapostolle. The blend of 95% Merlot and 5% Carmenere, aged in 100% new French oak casks, and bottled with neither fining nor filtration, is a triumph in wine making. Yields were kept to a conservative 40 hectoliters per hectare, resulting in an opaque purple-colored wine with an exquisite nose of black cherry, blackberry, and creme de cassis fruit intertwined with subtle toasty oak and lead pencil. Full-bodied, with an opulent texture, sensational concentration, and layered nuances, this wine will have 10-15 years of longevity, although its fatness and low acidity give it immediate accessibility. This superb wine is a tour de force. Not surprisingly, the consulting winemaker was Pomerol's brilliant Michel Rolland. Anticipated maturity: now-2015. This wine is scheduled to be released in the United States on May 1. This wine may appear expensive vis a vis the run of the mill juice coming out of Chile, but in today's marketplace, this effort are sensibly priced. Serious wine tasters should give it a try.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
This showstopper has all the bells and whistles: deep color, lavish oak, concentrated ripe fruit, power and harmony in a polished package. The boysenberry, chocolate and licorice flavors are voluptuous and velvety; the wine has elegance to match its power. It's hard to find Chile in its character, but easy to take pleasure in the result. Merlot, Carmenère and Cabernet Sauvignon.
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Lapostolle

Lapostolle

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Lapostolle, Chile
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Lapostolle was founded by Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle and her husband Cyril de Bournet in 1994. The Marnier Lapostolle family, founders and owners of the world-renowned liqueur Grand Marnier, is famous for producing spirits and liqueurs, but the family has also been involved in winemaking for generations. In creating Lapostolle, the family has pursued the same uncompromising approach to quality that make Grand Marnier a global success. Its objective is as simple as it is ambitious: to create world-class wines using French expertise and superb terroirs of Chile. Today, Lapostolle owns 370 hectares in three different vineyards and produces a total of 200,000 cases spread over Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenere and Syrah. Lapostolle is distributed in more than 60 countries around the world.

A source of reliable, budget-friendly wines and, increasingly, more premium bottlings, Chile is one of South America’s most important wine-producing countries. Long and thin, it is largely isolated geographically, bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Andes Mountains to the east, and the Atacama desert to the north. These natural borders gave Chile the very favorable benefit of being the only country to avoid the disastrous phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s. As a result, vines can be planted on their own rootstock rather than grafted. Though viticulture was introduced to the country by conquistadors from Spain, today Chile’s wine production is most influenced by the French, who emigrated here in large numbers to escape the blight of phylloxera. These settlers have invested heavily in local vineyards and wineries.

Chile’s vineyards, planted mainly with international varieties, vary widely in climate and soil type from north to south. The Coquimbo region in the far north contains the Elqui and Limari Valleys, where minimal rainfall and intense sunlight are offset by chilly breezes from the Humboldt current to produce cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Aconcagua region contains the eponymous Aconcagua Valley—hot and dry and home to full-bodied red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot—as well as Casablanca Valley and San Antonio Valley, which focus on light-bodied Pinot Noir and cool-climate whites like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The Central Valley is home to the Maipo, Rapel, Curicó, and Maule Valleys, which produce a wide variety of red and white wines. Maipo in particular is known for Carmenère, Chile’s unofficial signature grape. In the up-and-coming southern regions of Bio Bio and Itata, excellent cool-climate Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir are made.

Bordeaux Blends

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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/or 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.

In the Glass

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. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

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 Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

ARP40522_1997 Item# 40522