Tonight’s occasion: 2016 Carmenere (Cuvée Alexandre) by Lapostolle
Deep, dark, opaque color. Warm, thick heavy nose out of the bottle. Lots of black berries, hint of raisin, and an unmistakable black licorice reminiscent of Absinthe. Some good earthy leather underlies it all.
Wow! Just from the color and nose, I was prepared for a massive body. I am however taken back by how restrained the body is from start to finish. Greeted immediately by a good melange of mild acid and moderate tannins, both forming a well orchestrated chassis which guides you to all the way through the finish. Fine grained tannins reveal themselves towards the back. The fruit and licorice carries through from the nose albeit with a healthy dose of restraint. The body is more dry than not. A little minerality emerges. I suspect this may be contributing to the fine grained texture on the palate. Transition to a quick finish is almost seamless, dominated by this chewy, fine grain texture, dry tannic grip and a touch of spice which diminishes as the wine opens up.
This is more of a medium bodied wine posing as a heavy big bodied wine. It carries the hallmarks of a unique special wine. It is unconventional and makes no pretenses. It is clearly young and I can imagine how beautiful and nuanced it would be 5-10yrs from now. This is my first wine ever from the Colchagua Valley in Chile and I must say I am impressed and intrigued. I am reminded that somewhere in that corner of the world, someone is toiling away creating something remarkable.
I will be adding this wine to my cellar and very much look forward to how it develops over the next several years.