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20th Anniversary Bottle - 100 Point Perfection From 100+ Year Old Pre-Phylloxera Vines (Just 10 Cases)
September 2, 2020

A Special IWM Presentation
Debut - Perfection For “One of the World’s Greatest Wines” You May Not Know. The Chilean Signature From 100+ Year-Old Pre-Phylloxera Vines Challenges the First Growths, Super Tuscans and Napa Icons at a Fraction of The Price.
(Just 10 Cases of the Commemorative 20th Anniversary Bottle).

A Chilean wine from Colchagua Valley, Clos Apalta Valle de Apalta may be lesser known — in comparison to Bordeaux’s Château Lafite Rothschild, Tuscany’s Sassicaia or California’s Opus One — but it has been awarded perfect 100. In hindsight, there’s no doubt that Clos Apalta is one of the world’s greatest red wines. Expressive and complex in flavor, both vintages are blessed with the balance and precision essential for 100 points.” - James Suckling

It's a long quote, but another great one, as it speaks to what this rising star and Chile’s first Grand Cru is all about. I had the opportunity to taste Clos Apalta in line-up that included the likes of Château Canon, Figeac, and Sena a few years back – and it was the Clos Apalta that surprised me most, so we have tracked it down, year in and year out. Elegant and seamless, complexity and depth, the wine lands somewhere between a Napa and Bordeaux in our opinion. We are now pleased to present the debut offering of perfection from the Andes, the 2017 Clos Apalta Valle de Colchagua. And with its 100-point perfection AND special 20th Anniversary Commemorative bottle, the 2017 Clos Apalta surpasses the benchmark years of 2010, 2014, and 2015 as arguably the estate’s finest expression in nearly twenty years of production. These ten cases will sell out.

Regardless of points, reviews, or even anniversaries, of the three truly iconic Chilean wines (Almaviva, Clos Apalta, and Sena), it is the Clos Apalta that remains the truest to its region and terroir. The Bordeaux-inspired, single vineyard cuvée, located in the natural Apalta amphitheater in the Colchagua Valley, derives from pre-phylloxera Carmenère and Cabernet Sauvignon. It was here in this ideal setting that pre-phylloxera rootstock was brought from Bordeaux in the middle of XIX century. As for the current vines, these are some of the oldest in the world; the Carménère and Cabernet were planted ungrafted in 1920, and all the vineyards are organic and biodynamic (certified) and very low yielding. The biodynamic wine offers approachability with longevity and truly combines Bordeaux inspiration with exceptional Chilean terroir – without the First Growth price tag. It should be noted that production is just 5,000 cases for the world, one-third that of Almaviva.

We are now pleased to present this benchmark release with special pricing of $119.99. It should be noted we received JUST TEN CASES and expect this wine to SELL OUT with the commemorative label, press, and demand. It should be noted, the twenty stars on the bottle not only symbolizes the passage of time, but also the Milky Way, which can be observed all the way from Clos Apalta, in arguably one of the clearest skies in the world. It is a magical place for many reasons and the wines do shine here.. And while it is the 100-point grand vin that will receive all the attention, it is the rare second wine, Le Petit Clos, from vines with 100+ years of age, mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, that is simply one of the great second wines of the world when you consider the value at $39.99.

DEBUT: Perfection from the Andes – The 20th Anniversary Clos Apalta (Click to Order)

The pioneering Chilean estate was founded in 1994 by Cyril de Bournier and his wife Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle, heiress to the Grand Marnier empire. Originally from Bordeaux, the winemaking couple were drawn to Chile's unique terroir in the Colchagua Valley and set up a state of the art winery built on biodynamic winemaking principles. But it is the terroir that is the star, the unique and ancient Apalta vineyard based on colluvial granitic soils is located roughly 100 miles southwest from Santiago, and it is here that the vineyard is situated with a North to South exposure, which is quite rare in this region. The Tinguiririca River rests on one side and the hills from the coastal range surround the vineyard like a horseshoe; both integral in forming this unique terroir and contribute to conditions that further enhance more structure and depth. At sunrise and sunset, the mountain range block the sun’s rays, limiting the vines exposure to the sun that further ensure balance for the vines and a slow ripening for the grapes.

And while Casa Lapostolle owns 370 hectares of wines, the jewel in the crown here is the single vineyard cuvee Clos Apalta. Just 5,000 cases are produced from old vine, pre-phylloxera Carmenère and Cabernet Sauvignon dating back to 1920, and blended with some Merlot and a splash of Petit Verdot. While there is a nod to Bordeaux here, this is distinctly Chilean wine with more of Mediterranean climate thanks to this part of the Colchagua Valley, specifically at Apalta.

Additional Notes and Reviews:

“The percentage of carmenere is not only the thing that makes Clos Apalta stand out from the rest of the highly regarded Chilean reds: the Almaviva Puente Alto and the Viñedo Chadwick Cabernet Sauvignon Valle De Maipo. The vines planted in those vineyards are all grown on rich, alluvial soils. As Clos Apalta is surrounded by a horseshoe of the Cordillera, or Coastal Mountains of Chile, on three sides, the soils are mainly made up of granitic sands from the mountains. Charles de Bournet Marnier Lapostolle explains that Clos Apalta is a unique setting for grape-growing because of the shadow of those mountains. With the mountainous shadow casted upon the vineyards, they get two full hours of less sunlight than most of the valley. That might sound like a disadvantage at first, but Chile has so much sunlight that the shadow does the vineyards a favor by cooling and slowing down the ripening process of the grapes. Coupled with the frequent early morning mist, the terroir allows the wines of Clos Apalta to maintain its freshness and transparency while weighing in with 15 percent alcohol without tasting heavy or overtly alcoholic.” - James Suckling

2017 Clos Apalta, Valle de Colchagua
Note from the Winery on the Commemorative Label and Bottle: "It is an emotional celebration. 20 years already. 20 years of incredible adventure. 20 years of dedication and tenacity. And in honour of this important milestone, the 2017 vintage release is a special commemorative edition delicately screen-printed in gold, set against a graduated blue adorning the entire bottle. This is an entirely new coating technique and an industry first. 20 stars featuring on the bottle not only symbolise the passage of time, but also the Milky Way, which can be observed all the way from Clos Apalta, in arguably one of the clearest skies in the world. The intricate detail continues with the two-tone, royal blue and navy blue capsule, recalling the Azulillo flower, a small blue crocus emblematic of the Valley, its long frail stem topped with a mass of blue stars, each bearing three dark blue stripes. In the same way, the gift box is lined with blue tissue paper of the same distinctive shade. The iconic winery, equipped with technical facilities of the greatest precision and an architectural masterpiece, naturally takes pride of place, its 24 wooden beams clearly visible, reaching elliptically towards the sky and symbolising 24 months of winemaking channelled into the creation of Clos Apalta.”

100 Points, James Suckling: What a stunning nose of crushed berries, fresh flowers, sandalwood and light vineyard dust. Black olives, too. Very complex. Full-bodied with a beautiful, dense palate of blackberries, chocolate, walnuts and cigar box. Fantastic length and composure. The tannin just rolls over the palate. Very structured. The most classically structured wine ever from here. Goes on for minutes. Outrageous and so polished. A blend of 48% carmenere, 26% cabernet sauvignon, 25% merlot and 1% petit verdot. Try after 2025.”

95 Points, Luis Gutiérrez, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: “The 2017 Clos Apalta is the 20th vintage of this wine that was produced with a blend of 48% Carmenere, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot from organic and biodynamic certified vineyards on granite soils. It fermented with indigenous yeasts for four to five weeks, with manual punch-down of the cap, mostly in 7,500-liter French oak vats and 18% in new French barrique. Malolactic was in new French oak barrels, and the élevage lasted for 27 months in 85% new barrels and 15% second use. This is always a powerful, big and ripe wine that is regularly 15% alcohol, reflecting a warm and ripe place. The 2017 is no exception, perhaps a riper and more powerful wine than the 2016. It's still very young and marked by the élevage, with abundant balsamic aromas and notes from the wood—spice and smoke with an ashy touch. It seems quite marked by the character of the Carmenere. The tannins are quite round and polished, and the flavors are pungent and powerful. It's a full-bodied wine to age in in bottle and enjoy in its 10th birthday with powerful food. Andrea León takes over the technical management of Clos Apalta as of June 2020, so I expect some changes in the wines in future vintages. They have a total of 160 hectares planted in Apalta, but their wines come from a selection of the best plots, 48 hectares, of which 16 are very old, dry-farmed and ungrafted vines planted between 1915 and 1940.”

2017 Le Petit Clos Apalta, Valle de Colchagua
96 Points, James Suckling: This is so delicious with blackcurrants, spice, sweet tobacco, lavender and roses. Full-bodied, tight and very polished with gorgeous texture and finesse. Shows tannin tension at the end. A blend of mostly cabernet sauvignon, the rest cabernet franc. Better after 2022.”

93+ Points, Luis Gutiérrez, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: “The second wine, in the Bordeaux sense, the 2017 Le Petit Clos has a different blend from the grand vin, in this case 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Carmenere, 9% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot and is quite different every year. It fermented in 7,500-liter oak vats with indigenous yeasts and a four- to five-week maceration followed by malolactic in new barriques. It matured in new French barriques for six months and spent the next 16 months in first, second and third use French oak barrels. I found a lot less influence from the oak here than in the "grand vin" and a more classical profile with dominance of the Cabernet Sauvignon—ripe without excess, powerful and concentrated but with very good balance. It's quite approachable even when it feels quite youthful; the tannins are round, and the wine is neat and velvety with some creaminess. It has an elegant profile within the powerful character of the vintage. It surpassed my expectations, and I find it every bit as good as the 2016. 72,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in October 2019. This has only been produced since 2014.”

This is an email ONLY offer! If you would like to take advantage of this offer (that is only available until 11:59pm Friday, September 4th), we are asking that you email orders back to me at, connect with your portfolio manager or mention receipt of this offer if calling the store. All orders are subject to confirmation.

All my best,