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2016 Clos Apalta ‘Le Petit Clos’$53.99Wine Advocate 93: The "second wine" here, the 2016 Le Petit Clos is a very different blend from the 2015; it is now mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with just 4% Merlot and 1% Carménère, while last year it was almost half Carménère. The vineyards are now certified in organic and biodynamic agriculture. The bunches were hand-destemmed, and the grapes fermented in oak vats with indigenous yeasts and a six-week maceration. Malolactic was in barrique, and the élevage happened as follows: the wine spent seven months in new French barriques, and then 71% of the volume was transferred to French oak barriques (22% new and 49% second year), while the rest of the wine was put in oak vats. The élevage was 23 months in total. With the change in varieties, this feels very different from the Clos Apalta—more Cabernet here and more Carménère there.James Suckling 96: A juicy and delicious second wine from Clos Apalta. Beautiful, ripe and delicious with dark berries and mushrooms. Full-bodied and very balanced with complex walnut, spice and berry character. Dark chocolate and hazelnuts at the finish. Drinkable now, but better in 2022.
2014 Casas del Bosque ‘Gran Bosque Private Reserva’ Cabernet Sauvignon$65.99Wine Spectator 94: Big, rich and filled with powerful red fruit and savory flavors that are supported by medium-grained tannins. Shows concentrated dark chocolate and creamy notes on the plush and well-spiced finish. Delivers impressive concentration and length. Drink now through 2022. 800 cases made.
2016 Clos Apalta$159.99Wine Spectator 94: Refined, with savory richness to the mineral-infused raspberry, red currant and herbal shadings. Creamy hints emerge midpalate, leading to a crisp, well-structured finish that lingers with slate and cast iron notes. Carmenère, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.Wine Advocate 96: The 2016 Clos Apalta is a blend of 64% Carménère (higher than in 2015), 19% Cabernet Sauvignon and 17% Merlot hitting the scale at 15% alcohol with a pH of 3.7. The Carménère and Cabernet were planted ungrafted in 1920, and all the vineyards are organic and biodynamic (certified) and very low yielding. The hand-destemmed grapes fermented in oak vats and barriques (17%), and the wine went through malolactic and 26 months of aging in brand new French barriques. I've seen a great improvement in Carménère in Chile in the last few years, perhaps since they stopped wanting to grow it everywhere and focused on the places where it grows well, like the Apalta region. They have also learned to tame the green aromas and fierce tannins and alcohol and to produce much more harmonious reds, like this aromatic example that reveals spice, tobacco leaves, red fruit and floral notes without noticeable alcohol or excess ripeness.James Suckling 99: This is really focused and refined with fantastic dried flowers and dark berries. Dried-lavender and mint undertones. Medium-to full-bodied with refined and polished tannins that are all together and so focused. Really integrated and melted together on the palate. Compact and very linear. Please give this two or three years to come completely together, but it’s already breathtaking. Better to drink after 2022.Vinous 93: A few mature wines still survive from the period that Michel Rolland spent in Chile, including Clos Apalta (a blend of 64% Carménère, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon and 17% Merlot), demonstrating both the effectiveness and richness of the style. Taking an approach that suits the terroir of Apalta in Colchagua, this garnet-hued red offers ripe aromas of jam, camphor and bay leaf that guide the hints of blackberry and an elegant woodiness that encompasses notes of sandalwood and tobacco. A complex wine that reflects its oxidative aging process; after a while, black olives, musk and hazelnuts appear. It is rich on the palate with fine tannins and slightly intense woody notes. A long, mature, open and flavorsome finish.