Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Merlot 2015
Enjoy with homemade pastas such as beetroot capeletti stuffed with cheese and pistachios or turkey panzotti and bolognesa sauce.
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.
An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot can be made into a range of styles from everyday-drinking to world-renowned and age-worthy. Merlot is the dominant variety in the best wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank regions of St. Emilion and Pomerol where it is blended with Cabernet Franc. On the Left Bank in the Medoc, it plays a supporting role to Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. Merlot also frequently shines on its own, particularly from California’s Napa Valley.
In the Glass
Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.
Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.
Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot with Cabernet Franc.