The Marnier Lapostolle family, founders of the ribbon-adorned liqueur brand Grand Marnier, have had a simple philosophy with Clos Apalta says Charles Bournet Marnier-Lapostolle, "to make world-class wines using our French know-how of generations in wine and spirit production, together with the unique Chilean terroir."
The notion of a singular wine called Clos Apalta from old vine blocks began when the fruit of the exceptional 1997 vintage was tasted. The grapes for Clos Apalta are sourced from two blocks of very old Carmenere and Cabernet Sauvignon planted in 1920 and 1940. (Merlot was added to the blend with later releases).
Clos Apalta's blend is dominated by the grape Carmenere, with both its Carmenere and Cabernet from un-grafted pre-phylloxera vines. This cepage really sets Clos Apalta apart among Chile's top wines.
Carmenere all but forgotten, had been misidentified as an earlier-ripening Merlot since its arrival from Bordeaux in the 1850's. Chile didn't officially recognize this grape as Carmenere until 1998, after researchers at Montpellier's School of Oenology determined it was in fact Bordeaux Carmenere. Surprise!