"The Earth offers it up and we respect the gift."- Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle
The 2017 vintage marks the 20th Anniversary of this Iconic Wine that thrust Clos Apalta into the international spotlight. 2017 was shaped by persistent drought, and saw the lowest rainfall recorded at Clos Apalta over the past 15 years and the highest temperatures on record in Chile. This was a record-breaking vintage on every level. These extreme conditions promoted deadly, tinderbox conditions for the propagation of devastating wildfires, with a total of 600,000 hectares of forest and scrubland destroyed as a result. To our great relief, our vines were spared and suffered no smoke damage, which was soon confirmed on tasting the different parcels of grapes.
Conditions for harvesting were excellent. The merlot was harvested from 23rd February to 13th March. The first cabernet sauvignon grapes were picked 8th – 9th March, while the first pre-phylloxera grapes were harvested 14th -17th March. With great quality grapes and really good weather, we were able to wait a further two weeks for the first Carmenère grapes, the last crates of which were brought in 25th April. The grapes were harvested entirely by hand in the cool of the morning to avoid high temperatures, then transported in trays, before rigorous destemming by hand, painstaking selection and no methods spared to keep the grapes whole.
About the Vineyard
For two decades, our teams in Chile and France have worked in unison to understand the exact requirements and potential challenges regarding Clos Apalta. The progress we have made in both the vineyard and winery has only served to improve our performance over the years. 20 years of tireless hard work has been rewarded with premium quality wines. Concentrated, complex and age-worthy, Clos Apalta has garnered a world class reputation and indisputably earned its place among the true greats.
Our winemaking philosophy is to reflect the terroir from Apalta by crafting a wine based in Carmenère. We hand harvest the fruit in small cases of 14 kilos. The grapes are 100% hand de-stemmed in our Clos Apalta Winery so we maintain complete control of the quality. 95% of grapes were fermented in our French oak vats while 5% was fermented in new French oak barrels.
Clos Apalta 2017 remains inherently true to its origins. Deep garnet in appearance, the wine reflects the intense color of carmenere grapes and typical aromas of ripe fruits. On the bouquet, an abundance of aromas, including redcurrant, raspberry and wild strawberries, reflects the stunning complexity of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and carmenere. On the palate, the initial wave of berry fruits, underpinned by soft, silky tannins, is pursued by contrasting touches of black olive, blackcurrant and liquorice. Incredibly long and taut on the finish, revealing exquisite, delicate tannins, and expressing the great elegance of the Apalta terroirs.