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Neyen Espiritu de Apalta 2006

Bordeaux Red Blends from Chile
  • RP92
  • WS92
0% ABV
  • WS91
  • WS92
  • WE92
  • RP91
  • JS91
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Currently Unavailable $36.99
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's 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.
WS 92
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.
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Neyen
Neyen, Chile
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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.

One of South America’s most important wine-producing countries, Chile is a reliable source of both budget-friendly wines and premium bottlings. 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 some time in the 1550s. But Chile’s modern wine industry is largely the result of heavy investment from the 1990s.

Long and narrow, Chile is geographically isolated, bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Andes Mountains to the east and the Atacama desert to the north. These natural borders allowed Chile to avoid the disastrous phylloxera infestation in the late 1800s and as a result, vines are often planted on their own rootstock rather than grafted (as is the case in much of the wine producing world).

Chile’s vineyards 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. While historically focused solely on Pisco production, today this area finds success with 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 Pinot Noir, 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 make excellent Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

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 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 lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally 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 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.

SOU245027_2006 Item# 117217