Patrick Valette has recently been hired to consult with Chile’s Viña Santa Rita. Valette, whose family once owned Château Pavie in St.-Emilion, now lives in Chile and consults for a number of wineries including Viña Quebrada de Macul, TerraMater, Viñedos J. Bouchon and the newly-released Viña Neyen de Apalta. Valette got his start in Chile with the now-defunct Valette Fontaine label.
As for his latest project, Viña Neyen de Apalta, the debut ’03 is a blend of 70 percent Carmenère and 30 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from the oldest vines (some 100 years old) on the 2,470-acre property owned by Raul Rojas. The property is located at the far eastern end of the Apalta Valley, a sub-valley of the Colchagua Valley where neighboring Viña Montes and Casa Lapostolle produce their top Alpha M and Clos Apalta bottlings, respectively.
The Viña Neyen de Apalta spends 14 months in oak, one-third of which is new. There were 1,200 cases produced of this solid, broad-shouldered wine, which is loaded with tobacco, mineral, cedar, black currant and game notes.
If you like Alvaro Espinoza’s Antiyal wine, I think you’ll like this one.