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Neyen Espiritu de Apalta 2014

Bordeaux Red Blends from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
  • TA96
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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TA 96
Tim Atkin

Rodrigo Soto is a brilliant blender, producing wonders with this Colchagua cuvée of Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenère. Ripe but not over-ripe, it’s grassy, refreshing and complete, with liquorice and green pepper notes and deftly handled oak. 2019-30. Alcohol: 13.5%

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Neyen
Neyen, South America
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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.
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Colchagua Valley

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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.

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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.

SOU923149_2014 Item# 516320