Source: jamessuckling.com. Issue Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021 (JS-96)
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.
Source: Issue 250 End of August 2020, The Wine Advocate; Issue Date: 31st Aug 2020, (RP-93 )
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 the 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.
Drink Date: 2020 – 2027
Deep garnet in appearance, the wine reflects the intense colour of carmen?re grapes and typical aromas of ripe fruits.
An abundance of aromas, including redcurrant, raspberry and wild strawberries, reflects the stunning complexity of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and carmen?re.
The initial wave of berry fruits, underpinned by soft, silky tannins, is pursued by contrasting touches of black olive, blackcurrant and liquorice. Incredibly long and taut on the finish, revealing exquisite, delicate tannins, and expressing the great elegance of the Apalta terroirs.
The blend, made up of 48% Carmen?re, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and
1% Petit Verdot.
February 23rd to April 25th.
The 2017 vintage was shaped by extreme conditions which promoted deadly, tinderbox conditions for the propagation of devastating wildfires, with a total of 600,000 hectares of forest. To our great relief, our vines were spared and suffered no smoke damage, which was soon confirmed on tasting the different parcels of grapes.
Winter was exceptionally dry at Clos Apalta, with a 35% hydric deficit compared to the long-term average. Spring was drier and cold. In November, marginally higher temperatures and marginal accumulation of rain resulted in bud break commencing 10 days early. Summer was unbearably hot, with scorching temperatures hovering between 32?C and 35?C. After the first ten days of March, both minimum and maximum temperatures had dropped markedly. Such temperature variations allowed the grapes to complete phenolic ripening, promoting intense colour and retaining intense fruit character and freshness.
In the end, conditions for ripening were excellent and consistent with a classic year.