This week on the Cellars Wine Club Blog, we have discussed several aspects of the Chilean wine industry. We wrote of Chile’s first years of wine production, sharing the rebellious spirit that their winemakers held against Spain’s restricting supervision. The post continued to the modern area of Chilean wine, emphasizing the 19th century growth and 20th century political turmoil.
Yesterday, we released a second post. This article highlighted three distinct wineries that have made an impact on Chilean wine and the industry as a whole. Concha y Toro, an international leader, joined Montes and the family-owned Viña Casa Silva in a fascinating article on influential winemakers. For readers who yearn to travel, we were sure to include what touring and tasting opportunities are available at each location.
Today, on this fine Wine Wednesday, we are continuing the Chilean theme, with three unique wines from Chile. By reading the article below, we hope you will discover not only the style and source of our the featured wines, but the history behind each one.
Casa Lapostolle Clos Apalta
Our first mention is a renowned red wine from the Lapostolle winery. Founded in 1994 by the Marnier Lapostolle family, it has held a high standard of wine production, combining French methods with Chilean terriers to reach the highest possible quality of wine. Clos Apalta is a result of Lapostolle’s criterion, earning numerous awards and praise from prominent critics. The 2005 vintage was even ranked #1 on Wine Spectator’s Top 10 Wines of 2008.
The 2010 vintage of Clos Apalta is a blend of 71% Carmenere, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 11% Merlot. It is known to possess a young nose, with hints of red and black fruit, clover, and vanilla. The palate consists of a concentrated structure and is paired well with meats such as lamb and entrecôte fillet. This wine is ideal for those with sophisticated taste, love for bold reds, and a willingness to pay for quality.
Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon
Next on the list is another rich red, this time from the Montes winery. As we wrote in our previous post, the success of Montes springs from the expertise and professionalism achieved by its four founders. Standing as one of their finest wines, Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon is often awarded 90+ points, with its 2010 vintage receiving 91 from Robert Parker.
As expected, his Montes Alpha consists primarily of Cabernet Sauvignon, with only 10% Merlot. It is generally stated to have chocolate, blackcurrant, and cigar box aromas. According to the Montes winery, it is “aged for 12 months in French fine grain Allier oak barrels.” This results in a complex palate with a superb finish. If you are a fan of Cabernets, this is a must in the realm of Chilean wines.
Finally, we come to the fine invention of two international wine giants: Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Viña Concha y Toro. Though the name Almaviva can refer to both the winery and its product, we will discuss the wine. It is a bold combination of traditional French technique and Chilean climate and soil, resulting in a brilliant and complex wine.
Almaviva earned 96 points from Wine Spectator, who said the wine was: “Classically built, with a compact and fine-tuned frame giving way to rich cassis, black cherry reduction, fig paste, spice box and licorice notes woven with fine tannins, juicy acidity and a firm, minerally spine.” Clearly, Almaviva ranks among the highest quality Chilean wines, and is certainly worth your enjoyment.