Clos Apalta 2014
We often hear the expression ‘Icon wine’ thrown around, very often in the context of something new and expensive, firmly driven by the owner’s ego... in our view wines cannot be ‘made’ as icons, they are awarded as such – it takes many years of dedication and experience, supported by consistent high-level recognition, to make a wine into an icon. With the award of 100 points from James Suckling in his recent ‘Top 100 Wines of the Andes’ report, the Chilean superstar Clos Apalta has pinned another medal to its chest bringing it ever more into the ‘icon’ spotlight. Impressive as this accolade is, it is not a breakthrough moment: Clos Apalta has been one of the most decorated wines from anywhere in the world over the past decade:
· Featured 5 times in the Wine Spectator’s Top 100
· Three times it has featured in the top 3
· It is the only South American wine to reach no.1 in this list
· Plus it is only the second southern hemisphere wine to achieve this, with the first being Grange 1995
If you’ve not looked closely at the best wines of Chile before, then now is the time to start. As James Suckling says in his report “Chilean wines have never been better thanks to a string of excellent vintages and a general improvement in viticulture and winemaking, which has finally arrived at every level of the market.” Not only does Clos Apalta represent the best of Chile, but it also shows what a majority Carmenere wine can achieve.
Clos Apalta is the flagship wine of the Marnier Lapostolle family, owners of Grand Marnier and Chateau de Sancerre in France, and since its debut vintage in 1997 has gone from strength to strength. Many of the vines are ungrafted thanks to the estate’s geographical protection from phyloxerra and go back to 1910; in addition, Bordelais techniques including high density planting combine with organic and biodynamic (certified since 2006) vineyard treatment and the natural benefits of the region – warm days, cool nights, plenty of natural irrigation – to create a wine of power, poise and polish. Chile has always been a source of value at the low-mid range, but in the past few years has developed wines which stand shoulder to shoulder with the very best: Suckling goes on to say “South American wines aren’t necessarily the cheapest, but ounce per ounce they often offer arguably the best quality for your buck out of any region in the world.”
So we are delighted to offer this remarkable 2014, one of only a mere handful of South American wines ever to achieve the perfect 3-digit rating.