Chile has a long viticultural history for a New World wine region dating to the 16th century when the Spanish conquistadors brought Vitis vinifera vines with them as they colonized the region. In the mid-19th century, French wine varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenère and Cabernet Franc were introduced. In the early 1980s, a renaissance began with the introduction of stainless steel fermentation tanks and the use of oak barrels for aging. Wine exports grew very quickly as quality wine production increased. The number of wineries has grown from 12 in 1995 to over 70 in 2005. Reasons for this sudden expansion varies, but all are essential to understanding Chilean wine culture. The largest factor, and arguably most prominent, relates to the large amount of French families immigrating to Chile during the late 20th century. The French were able to share their fine tastes and experience with the native Chileans, expanding their knowledge of the wine world. Chile is now the fifth largest exporter of wines in the world, and the ninth largest producer. The climate has been described as midway between that of California and France. The most common grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenère.
- Item #: i_378147Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 100Almaviva is the name of both winery and wine born of the joint venture between Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Vina Concha y Toro. Made from a blend of classic Bordeaux varieties, in which Cabernet Sauvignon predominates, Almaviva is the result of a felicitous encounter between two cultures.
Chile offers its soil, its climate and its vineyards, while France contributes its winemaking savoir faire and traditions. The result is an exceptionally elegant and complex wine. Its launch was a major milestone in the development of Chilean wines, both in Chile itself and in the international market.
JAMES SUCKLING #1 ON TOP 100 OF 2017
JAMES SUCKLING 100 POINTS - "A glorious and complex nose of tobacco, blackberries and hints of stones and flowers. Hints of bitter chocolate. Full-bodied, very tight and compacted. Linear backbone gives this form and tension. It has the same character on the palate as well as cayenne and other spice. Loved the 2014 but this shows more fine-grained tannins. So balanced and harmonious. A blend of 69% cabernet sauvignon, 24% carmenere, 5% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot. Needs four or five years in bottle but a joy to taste now."
- Item #: i_350249Bottle Size: 750MLJames Suckling: 100#5 ON JAMES SUCKLING TOP WINES OF 2017
JAMES SUCKLING 100 POINTS - "An extremely aromatic and focused Clos Apalta with blackberry, blueberry, floral and hot stone character. Full body, very linear and ultra-fine tannins. Focused and tight. Precise and long. This is the most polished and beautiful definition of this wine ever. You want to drink it now but better in 2020. A blend of Carmenere, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
The Marnier Lapostolle family, founders of the liqueur Grand Marnier, created Casa Lapostolle in 1994 with the ambition to create world-class wines by combining the superb terroir of Chile with their French winemaking philosophy. With Michel Rolland as winemaker consultant, they decided to create Clos Apalta, the flagship of the winery, which debuted with the vintage 1997.
Within just a few years, this wine achieved remarkable international recognition, and was soon considered as being part of the world’s greatest wines. It has now become a standalone wine, with its own specific vineyard in Apalta, and a dedicated winery.
ONE OF THE MOST AWARDED WINES IN THE WORLD
• Five times in the Wine Spectator Top 100, three times in the Top 3
• Clos Apalta is the one and only South American wine which has been #1 of the Wine Spectator Top 100
• Since the creation of the Top 100 only two wines of the Southern hemisphere have been #1: Clos Apalta 2005 and Penfolds Grange 1995.