Casa Lapostolle 2010 ”Cuvée Alexandre” Merlot

Posted by in South American Wine Reviews

Price:
12.99 (PLCB)

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On May 14, 2014
Last modified:May 14, 2014

Summary:

An intense but lush Merlot from Chile that offers up plenty of fruit and earth notes.

This is a delicious wine styled to be  both plush and pretty.  First is the rich ruby color with glass-staining extraction. Then the aromas of red berries and tarragon traced by a whiff of black pepper. The fruit keeps up the action on the palate, with plum and raspberry the most predominate flavors. A savory note of wet clay and rusted farm equipment keeps the wine from going simple. An element of lemon oil and spice moves into the finish. The fruit keeps on coming.

There is just enough varietal character in this wine to be put into rotation at the Wine School. It’s high quality and good price point makes it a perfect candidate for our Wine 1o1 classes. At the price the PLCB are selling it for right now (under $15) you’ll start seeing it on Philly wine lists, too. That price will shoot up in a few months, but even at $20/bottle, the wine is a great choice.

This wine is farmed fully biodynamically and fermented only with wild yeast in large oak vats. The Merlot is aged in mostly new French oak barrels and blended with small amounts of Carmenère, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.

One key point of information is not mentioned on the label: this wine is sourced from  Casa Lapostolle’s Apalta Vineyard in the Apalta  sub-region of  Colchagua Valley. It is a beautiful forested region in the foothills of the Andes, just  a few hours south of Santiago. Only six wineries are permitted to have vineyards in the region;  the vast majority of the hills are protected from all further development.

The winery is the passion project of Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle, a member of the family which owns Grand Marnier. Since 1994, she has had international wine consultant Michel Rolland under contact.  Which is why you don’t see any other Michel Rolland wines being made in Chile: she has him under a non compete contract (and  why he has worked on so many Argentina winery projects recently).

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