This Is An OLD Vine
The OLDEST Non Grafted Carmenere in the WORLD!
Based in Almahue in Cachapoal and focused on old vine Carmenère, Clos de Luz has a boutique production. Owner Gabriel Edwards and winemaker Felipe Uribe have expanded to include Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Grenache in the production but the real gem of Clos de Luz is Massal 1945 is Carmenère which comes from ungrafted Carmenère vines planted in 1945. Almahue Valley is located 70 miles South East of Santiago, 40 miles from the Pacific Ocean and 28 miles from the Andes Mountains. The viticulture history of the valley started in the XVIIth century during the Spanish colonization era. Carmenere is what they are known for and is 75% of their production but Cabernet Sauvignon is also doing well in this terroir and climate
2014 Clos De Luz Massal 1945 Cabernet
The vineyards are also 100% Massal selection from old vineyards, as opposed to a large majority of vineyards planted using clonal selection (all genetically identical plants). Massal selection consists in selecting good and healthy vines, and then propagating them from cuttings. This method preserves the natural diversity of the plants. Different plants have different characteristics: some of them have softer tannins, some of them have higher acidity, some of them have an early ripening, etc. Each of them contributes a different characteristic to the final blend and the result is a more complex wine. The grapes are all hand harvested. They practice sustainable farming and all 100% Organic. The wines are unfined so they are vegan friendly. All fermentation is with native yeasts only and the wine ages for one year in neutral french oak barrels of various age. The focus is on the fruit and not on the wood. 3% Malbec was added to the Cabernet to round out the wine. Let’s review
Nice star bright ruby red in color. The wine needs a solid one hour to aerate. Very classical Cabernet Sauvignon aromas of black currant, black cherry with a hint of coffee. The oak is very well hidden and not over powering. On the palate a nice medium body frame with a simple yet elegant mid palate which is expressive but nothing complex in a good or bad way leading to soft and sweet tannins with a medium length on the finish. This is straight forward well made Cabernet that shows off the terroir and a solid 87 point out of 100 . I have seen some reviews that agree with me and Parker reviews 91 almost every vintage and personally, I don’t get that. This is a Cabernet Sauvignon that you drink with someone or buy for someone who wants a simplified expression of the varietal, It’s Massal Vines With Mass-Appeal .
A nice price at $19.99. I don’t have anything awful to say about this wine but then again I don’t have anything that makes me think this is one of the world’s greatest Cabs either. I think as I said above if you re looking for a straight forward, easy to drink Cabernet that shows off the fruit characteristics of this grape without oak getting in the way…you can’t go wrong with this. If I was meeting a new guest who just asked for a $20.00 Cabernet and wasn’t sure of what style they wanted..this would be my go to recommendation. I would love to check out their Carmenere that is the oldest in the world. Wines like this Cab are nice to have in your wine fridge when you want a wine that will be a crowd pleaser that any red wine drinker would easily enjoy. For the price it’s certainly worth a test drive.
Grape-fully yours, Larry
Working Those Massal Vines In Almahue