Our winemaking philosophy is to reflect the terroir from Apalta by crafting a wine based in Carmenre, with Merlot and Cabernet. A truly hand crafted wine, we nurture our vines and attend to every detail to preserve the potential of the grapes. We hand harvest the fruit very early in the morning in small 14 kilos cases. The grapes were 100% hand de-stemmed in our Clos Apalta Winery so we maintain complete control of the quality. We fill our French oak tanks by gravity. Then nature does its work, allowing native yeasts that slowly ferment the must into wine with temperature control less than 26 C. Macerations lasted for about 4-5 weeks and during all that period we did manual punch downs to extract enough compounds from skins and seeds to get the desired structure and concentration. We rack the young new wine straight into 100% new French oak barrels by gravity. Malolactic fermentation happens in barrels, where the wine stays for 22 months, ageing patiently. The wine is bottled by gravity without any treatment or filtration.
Robert ParkerThe 2011 Clos Apalta is a blend from a cold vintage aged in 100% new barrels for about two years, depending on how they find the wine, and the wine that makes it into the bottle is a barrel selection. 2011 was a cool vintage, perhaps something between 2010 and 2013, warmer than the former, more moderate than the latter; it’s the freshest of all the vintages that I tried, with good acidity, finer tannins, density, freshness and finesse as well as very good balance and a silky texture. As for future vintages, the 2012 will be bottled earlier, as it was a warm vintage and needs less maturing in oak. The 2013, which is still very young and was pre-blended the day before my tasting with Michel Rolland, will be bottled a year from now and will be re-evaluated before being bottled, when the blend might be adjusted at the last minute. I also tasted an impressive new wine from very old vines that were traditionally blended into the Clos with a long aging in the T5 barrels from Taransaud. Drink 2016-2026.
James SucklingThis is a great red with polished tannins that have tension and intensity, making you want to drink it. Shows wonderful reserve and focus. Precision winemaking. A blend of carmenere, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. Always one of the top wines of Chile. Drink or hold.
Wine SpectatorRedolent of milk chocolate and raspberry preserves, with plenty of cream and spice in the mix. Offers a mocha-filled midpalate, showing savory notes on the spicy finish. A rich and well-crafted red. Drink now through 2018.-K.M.