Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Carmenere 2016
Intense and deep red in color, this wine offers expressive and intense aromas of cassis and black currant. On the palate, it is elegant with round and persistent tannins, with fresh cherry and a light toast flavor.
Great with lamb shank with herbs or pork fillet with mustard and honey.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
“Old vine fruit from two parcels - one on the slopes and one on the plain - supply the grapes for this rich, dense, yet focused cuvée of Carmenère with 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Showing less oak than in the past, this has classic chocolate and tobacco spice notes and a fresh finish.
The 2016 Cuvée Alexandre Carmenère has some 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. It's surprisingly fresh and clean, remarkable for a difficult harvest, especially for the late-ripening varieties. It has fine-grained tannins and rich flavors. This feels like a great improvement over previous years, and it also has less oak; they now buy used barrels from Clos Apalta. 69,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in December 2017.
Casa Lapostolle is one of the most dynamic and influential producers of wines in Chile. Founded in 1994 in the Apalta Valley, this family business was created by the French Alexandra Marnier-Lapostolle and her husband Cyril de Bournet, members of the family who have been recognized for the production of wines and fine liqueurs for generations in the world. In creating Lapostolle, the family has maintained their long-term vision and commitment to quality that is being the key for their worldwide success. The Lapostolle winery is located in Cunaco, Santa Cruz, Colchagua Valley, Chile; and it produce more than 200.000 cases a year of wine sourced from its three vineyards: San José de Apalta from Colchagua Valley, where there are 37 hectares; Atalayas from Casablanca Valley, with 43 hectares; and Las Kuras from the Cachapoal Valley with 101 hectares. The main varieties produced are Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. At Lapostolle, the goal is as simple as it is ambitious: to create world-class wines using French winemaking philosophy and the superb terroirs of Chile. The founders chose Apalta in the Colchagua Valley, because weather and geographical conditions are perfect for producing high quality red wines and they also found blocks of unique vineyards.
Well-regarded for intense and exceptionally high quality red wines, the Colchagua Valley is situated in the southern part of Chile’s Rapel Valley, with many of the best vineyards lying in the foothills of the Coastal Range.
Heavy French investment and cutting-edge technology in both the vineyard and the winery has been a boon to the local viticultural industry, which already laid claim to ancient vines and a textbook Mediterranean climate.
The warm, dry growing season in the Colchagua Valley favors robust reds made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Malbec and Syrah—in fact, some of Chile’s very best are made here. A small amount of good white wine is produced from Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Dark, full-bodied and herbaceous with a spicy kick, Carménère found great success with its move to Chile in the mid-nineteenth century. Far from its birthplace of Bordeaux, Carménère once accompanied Malbec and Petit Verdot as a minor blending grape there. But the variety went a bit undercover, impressing wine lovers until 1994 when many plantings previously thought to be Merlot, were profiled as Carménère. Regardless of what vine variety it actually was, these have proven successful and plantings continue to increase.
In the Glass
Carménère can express a bit of herbaceous character or black pepper but in warm climates or with additional hangtime before harvest, it makes wines reminiscent of blackberry, blueberry and dark plum, with rich and savory notes of chocolate, coffee, smoke and soy sauce.
Carménère makes a great match for a hearty steak or barbecued red meat. It can also work well with white meat when prepared with a mole sauce or spice rub.
Perhaps Carménère’s herbal character can be explained in part by familial relations—due to the strange nature of grapevine breeding, Carménère is both a progeny and a great-grandchild of the similarly flavored Cabernet Franc.