March 3, 2010 - 12:00 am
Wine: Lapostolle Casa Cabernet Sauvignon
Grapes: Cabernet sauvignon (85 percent), syrah (8 percent), carmenere (5 percent), cabernet franc (2 percent)
Region: Rapel Valley, Chile
In the glass: Lapostolle Casa Cabernet Sauvignon is a deep purplish-red color with an opaque crimson core, going out into a saturated ruby-red rim definition with medium-high viscosity.
On the nose: It has immediate olfactory components that are really expressive. There are wonderful notes of crushed pure black currant, eucalyptus hints, blackberries, black plums, phenols, fruit-driven minerals, cracked pepper, sweet tobacco, spice box and cedar wood.
On the palate: It is a good chewy wine, with a delicious attack of black currants, wild cherries, loganberries and soft, sweetish blueberry notes going into a well-balanced midpalate that shows off the wine’s character. The finish is impressive — lingering for a good 20-plus seconds — with lovely delineation of black fruits, supple tannins and hints of concord grapes.
Odds and ends: Saturday’s massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile caused tremendous damage at many great wineries down there, including Casa Lapostolle. Having had the pleasure to visit that beautiful country on several occasions and experience the warmth and hospitality always extended — especially by the owner of this winery, Alexandra Marnier-Lapostolle — I can only say that my heartfelt sympathies go out to them at this difficult time. I am not sure how the current situation will affect the future supply of these wines, but we must certainly enjoy them as long as we can.
As for Lapostolle Casa Cabernet Sauvignon, it is a classic cabernet sauvignon from one of the many fertile valleys one finds up and down that country. It is a blended wine with added "spices" from classic French varietals that all add small but important flavor elements in this delicious wine. The team behind the winemaking at Casa Lapostolle is all French, so it is made in a classic bordeaux style, and can therefore age well for five to seven years. Try it with a grilled veal chop simply dusted with salt and pepper.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89106-0749, or e-mail him at email@example.com.