The vineyards that produce our Purple Angel are located at our Finca de Apalta and El Arcengel de Marchigee estates in the Colchagua Valley. Here, the soils are of granitic origin and vary in clay content, amount of organic matter, depth, and notably, types of fluvial and glacial stones, reflecting the tremendous diversity of soils in our vineyards. Apalta has heterogeneous soils with some blocks highly influenced by the nearby Tinguiririca River and others produced by the erosion of the mountains high above. Soils tend to be deep on the plain and shallower at the foot of the mountains and on the higher slopes. The Carmenere vineyards for Purple Angel are optimally planted in flatter zones, where the soil is deeper and moisture retention is moderate. Marchigee is flatter, with low hills and moderate slopes. Its soils are shallow in some areas no more than 60 cm deep with medium clay content and a high capacity for water retention. The vineyards are planted at a density of 5,555 plants/hectare (2,250 plants/acre) and are double Guyot-trained for a yield of approximately 3.5-4.0 tons/hectare (1.4-1.6 tons/acre). The leaves closest to the fruit were greatly thinned in early January, to leave the grapes completely exposed, which allowed us to achieve even ripening, and more importantly, to reduce the amount of bell pepper-character pyrazines.
The season began with a mild winter and precipitation totalling close to 320 mm in Apalta. Irrigation began later in the season thanks to a cool, rainy spring that allowed us to reserve more water for the summer season. Summer was dry in the Colchagua Valley, without any precipitation to endanger the health of the grapes, and also warm enough that there was no damage to the vines or the grapes. Thanks to the conditions of hydric stress between fruit set and veraison, the size of the grapes was limited, creating a good ratio of skin to pulp, producing fruit with extraordinary colour, concentration, tannic richness, and very good aromas.There was no rain in March and April, which allowed us to wait for complete phenological ripeness, without the presence of disease that could have affected the quality of the wine. The year presented no adverse weather events, producing healthy, quality grapes that in turn gave us clean musts of great potential. There were no setbacks to ripening in the Colchagua Valley, and the Carmenere grapes ripened slowly; we were able to achieve the desired results thanks to a long, dry season in the Valley, ideal for this variety.
Harvest began when flavours in the grapes reached their peak. Picked by hand into 10-kg trays, the grapes arrived at our Apalta winery and were processed on the top floor, allowing us to use gravity to later transfer them gently into their fermentation tanks below. First, bunches were selected and destemmed, then individual grapes were sorted, leaving out those that were either too green or shrivelled Only those grapes in optimal condition continued to a cold maceration at 10 C for five to seven days. Selected yeasts were then added that ensured proper fermentation and allowed us to keep all the desired qualities of the grapes. Fermentation lasted 12-15 days at temperatures ranging from 26 to 29C. Once fermentation was complete, the wine remained in contact with the skins, and its development was monitored by daily tastings. The objective of this maceration was to make a wine with good body and extract all of the positive elements that the skins provide. Next, the wine was racked to separate it from the skins. Then 80% was transferred to new French oak barrels, and 20% to second- and third-use barrels, where it remained for 16-18 months before bottling.
This new vintage of our Purple Angel has all of the character and complexity we are accustomed to. With an intense and deep carmine-red colour, the wine delivers a pool of fresh fruit aromas, such as blackberry, blueberry, red plum, and ripe cherry. There are also bakery, candied, and subtle spice notes that mix well with the aromas from the French oak, including balanced toast, vanilla, and mocha. The palate is balanced and vibrant, with complex body and extremely smooth tannins.