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Dedicated to Alexandre Marnier, the proprietor’s great-father, the 2003 Casa Lapostolle Cuvée Alexandre Merlot is nothing short of a tour de force in winemaking and, unequivocally, the very finest Merlot we have ever tasted from south of the equator. The product of the legendary Apalta Vineyard whose ungrafted vines average more than 60 years of age, this super saturated Merlot is the match for almost any Bordeaux Grand Cru St Emilion. An exceptionally rich wine, it contains gobs of blackberry and cassis fruit that mingle ever so eloquently with the opulent flavors of the world’s finest dark chocolate, spices, and oak. Girded by a boatload of ripe tannin, the Casa Lapostolle Cuvée Alexandre Merlot has one formidable life ahead of it. And like most of its great Bordeaux counterparts from exceptional vintages, the 2003 Cuvée Alexandre Merlot drinks well even at two years of age. Can you imagine a properly aged version of this wine; it is almost mind-boggling. Allow this outstanding Merlot at least a half hour or more in a decanter before serving at cool room temperature (below 68° F).
Beef is the traditional Chilean favorite at Sunday barbecue and just about any time there is cause for celebration, even if that fiesta constitutes just a simple mid week respite from the mundane cares of life. Assuredly, the 2003 Casa Lapostolle Cuvée Alexandre Merlot provides more than an admirable companion to steaks and prime rib, but this wine fulfills more than the basic requirements of all self-respecting Chilean reds. The 2003 Cuvée Alexandre Merlot also complements more sophisticated fare, as it does equal or greater justice to subtle, complex sauces. Duck, goose, and the finest cuts of veal that are served with fruit based sauces remain some of our favorite dishes with this Grand Cru St.Emilion-style Merlot Porcini mushroom and truffle infused sauces and condiments constitute other treats with the lush 2003 Casa Lapostolle Cuvée Alexandre Merlot. Perfectly ripe, soft cheese provides another wonderful opportunity to enjoy this fine wine as well as a respite from red meat. In fact, this supple, decadently rich Merlot needs little to convince adherents of its greatness, except a clean glass, so enjoy!
Casa Lapostolle is a collaborative effort of two great wine families: the Marnier family of France (of Grand Marnier fame) and the Rabat family of Chile. At the helm of this premier property is Alexandra Marnier-Lapostolle, who together with her husband Cyril de Bournet and Don Jose Rabat Gorchs reign over what many consider to be South America’s finest wine estate. In little more than a decade, Casa Lapostolle has taken the international wine world by storm.
In 1994, Alexandra Marnier-Lapostolle founded the Casa Lapostolle Winery, and with the world’s most prominent winemaker Michel Rolland selected prime vineyard sites that now yield world-class wine. Until quite recently, the Marnier-Lapostolle family was best known as the creator and founder of the world renowned liqueur Grand Marnier, even though this family has been involved in winemaking in France for generations, most notably as the owners of Chateau de Sancerre.
In creating Casa Lapostolle, the Marnier-Lapostolle family has pursued the same uncompromising approach to quality that made Grand Marnier a household name. The family’s objective at Casa Lapostolle is to consistently create world-class wines by marrying French expertise to the incomparable terroir of Chile. The Chilean climate is perfect for the cultivation of the vine, and the soil harbors no phylloxera. In addition, Chile contains a great number of old vines, mostly from French varietals that were brought from France in the 19th century before the dreaded vine louse devastated the parent stock in Europe. Consequently, many of these old vines continue to thrive in the vineyards of Chile, and nearly all Chilean vines, old and new, still grow naturally on their own rootstocks – a phenomenon rarely seen in Europe or elsewhere in more than a century. The result is pure, natural tasting wines that express expert care and ideal growing conditions.
Today, Casa Lapostolle comprises more than 750 acres of prime vineyards, located in three different growing areas. This estate produces two excellent white wines, a Bordeaux-style Sauvignon Blanc, which traditionally contains a small percentage of luscious Semillon, and an excellent Chardonnay. Both deftly represent Chile’s ability to turn out internationally acclaimed white wines. Nevertheless, red wines predominate. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Carmenère (Chile’s own unique red varietal) dominate Casa Lapostolle’s excellent red wine portfolio and place this property among Chile’s finest wine producers. Casa Lapostolle’s most consistently delicious and most critically acclaimed wines remain the Cuvée Alexandre special reserve offerings, which are highly allocated and are offered only in the finest vintages.
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