Robert Parker, tasting note published in August 12th 2020
It is still very young and marked by élevage, with abundant balsamic aromas and notes of wood spice and smoke with a touch of ash. It seems quite marked by Carmenere character. The tannins are quite round and polished, and the flavours are pungent and powerful. It is a full-bodied wine to age in bottle and enjoy on its 10th anniversary with powerful food.
When I arrived in Apalta, I was blown away – unique geography, climate and old vines that are not grafted. The potential that was hidden in this incredible place became reality with the creation of Clos Apalta.” Jacques Begarie, Chief Winemaker. “The Clos Apalta 2017 is the 20th vintage of this wine which was produced with a blend of 48% Carmenere, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot from certified organic and biodynamic vines on granite soils. Fermented with indigenous yeasts for four to five weeks, with manual cap punch-down, mostly in 7,500-litre French oak vats and 18% in new French barrels. Malolactic was in new French oak barrels, and élevage lasted 27 months in 85% new barrels and 15% second use. This is always a powerful, big, ripe wine that regularly contains 15% alcohol, reflecting a warm, ripe site. The 2017 is no exception, perhaps a riper and more powerful wine than the 2016.
One of the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenère vineyards in Chile, if not the world, is the origin of this story. Hidden away in the Colchagua Valley near the town of Santa Cruz, the Apalta Valley was the site selected by a visionary in the 1910s who planted this stunning vineyard using a single selection of French masses. The particular soil and climate conditions of the region give rise to very elegant and complex wines with great structure, depth, colour and excellent ageing potential. In 1994, Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle and her husband Cyril de Bournet acquired the property. True to the demands of the family, their ambition was to produce exceptional wine and pave the way for the qualitative development of the country’s fine wines. Recognised as “New World Winery of the Year” by Wine Enthusiast in 2008, Lapostolle is regarded as one of Chile’s most premium wineries. Clos Apalta was born in 1997 as the iconic wine of Domaines Bournet-Lapostolle in Chile, under the idea of amplifying Apalta’s exceptional terroir with French expertise. Shaping the vineyard foot by foot, building a state-of-the-art gravity-fed winery, the family has succeeded in making Clos Apalta one of South America’s most iconic wines. Recognised as “Wine of the Year” when its 2005 vintage was chosen by Wine Spectator magazine, Clos Apalta is the only South American wine to have received this award. In addition, the 2000 and 2001 vintages were also ranked as top 3 and top 2, respectively, in the same magazine. With the exceptional 2017 vintage, Clos Apalta was awarded 100 points for the third time by the famous American wine journalist and critic James Suckling, consolidating its position in the “Legends of Chile”. Currently, the team behind the creation of Clos Apalta and Lapostolle is led by the founders’ son and seventh generation of the Bournet-Lapostolle family, Charles de Bournet. Winemakers: Michel Rolland & Jacques Begarie