I must sound like a broken record. It seems like every wine I write about lately is from Chile. Well I just can't help it. The price to quality ratio of these wines is impressive. The Carmeneres are basically free. The Cab Sauvignon and Merlots are usually half of what I'd pay for a comparable domestic version. The Pinot Noir can be satisfying while still accessible under $20. For some reason Chilean Syrah is undeniably more expensive then the other varietals. While the bargain wines I've had before are consistently a pleasant surprise, at $20 I'm expecting a $35 flavor profile that will rock my palate.
Casa Lapostolle Winery was founded in 1994 by the Marnier Lapostolle family from France and the Rabat family from Chile. The French connection are founders and owners of Grand Marnier ( of the Spirit fame) and have been winegrowers in the Loire Valley. They own 300 hectacres and produce 150,000 cases, including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenere, and Syrah.
This Syrah is grown in rocky Las Kuras Vineyard of Requinoa, in the Cachapoal Valley, and it's from their midlevel Cuvee Alexandre series. It's made from 100% Syrah grapes grown after a dry 2003 season which resulted in budding some 10 days earlier than average. What's really crazy is that there was no rain registered that summer at all. The wine was aged for 21 months in new French oak barrels and it weighs in at 14.5% alcohol.
Dark purple in color. The nose took a while to open up, but when it did it revealed definite meat aromas with ripe dark fruits. This wine feels very fleshy and full bodied. I get some complex notes that include chocolate and cigar box. Overall, it's well balanced and persistent on the finish. While I do find this wine to be worth the $20 I paid, it's not as intriguing as the Montes Alpha Syrah I tasted a few weeks ago. It went extremely well with the sausage and peppers I had for dinner and got better with every sip I took. My grade: A-