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The wines of Casa Lapostolle, Chile

Casa Lapostolle, Benjamin 2935, Of. 801, Las Condes, Santiago, Chile
Tel: +56 2 242 9774 Fax: +56 2 234 4356
E-mail: rjanssen@casalapostolle.cl Website: www.casalapostolle.com

A French–Chilean collaboration between the Marnier-Lapostolle (owners of the Grande Marnier liqueur and Château de Sancerre) and Rabat families, Casa Lapostolle was founded in 1994. It’s a sizeable operation with 300 ha of vineyards and a production of 150 000 cases. Quality is high across the range, but for me many of these wines lacked a little bit of excitement. Flagship wine Clos Apalta is a stunner in a very modern mould, but carries a scary price tag.

Casa Lapostolle Sauvignon Blanc 2002, Casablanca
Modern, forward nose is crisp and grassy; the rich, rounded palate is full and attractive. Very good (£6.49 Selfridges, Partridges)

Casa Lapostolle Chardonnay 2001, Casablanca
Quite a restrained, classy style displaying rich nutty fruit, and with the oak firmly in the background. Good balance. Very good (£6.49 Majestic, Selfridges, Partridges)

Casa Lapostolle Cabernet Sauvignon 2000, Rapel
There’s a leafy edge to the blackcurrant fruit on the nose. The juicy, well balanced palate shows some tannin and a nice savoury edge. Very good (£6.99 Oddbins, First Quench, Virgin, Chateauonline, Selfridges)

Casa Lapostolle Merlot 2001, Rapel
Nice balance. Clean, pure berry fruit with a spicy edge. Restrained, but a tint bit anonymous? Very good (£7.49 First Quench, Majestic, Selfridges)

Tanao Blanc 2001, Chile
An on-trade label (restaurants like these, because there’s no danger the punters will have purchased the wine before in their local offie, which would make them aware of the industry standard rip-off mark-ups), this is a blend of Chardonnay, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. Richly fruited, slightly nutty wine with good balance. Quite an attractive style with subtle oak influence. Very good+ 

Tanao Rouge 1999 Las Kuras Vineyard, Requinoa
On-trade label, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Soft, approachable dark fruits dominate with a nice oak overlay. This is an accessible crowd pleaser. Very good

Casa Lapostolle Cuvée Alexandre Chardonnay 2001, Casablanca
Fairly serious toasty, nutty, creamy nose. The full flavoured nutty palate is rich with prominent but well integrated oak. Well made. Very good+ (£10.99 Safeway, Majestic, Selfridges, Harrods)

Casa Lapostolle Cuvée Alexandre Cabernet Sauvignon 1999, Colchagua
Spicy, chocolately edge to the sweet blackcurrant fruit. Good concentration of rich spicy fruit on the palate: very appealing. Very good+ (£10.99 Berry Bros, Harrods)

Casa Lapostolle Cuvée Alexandre Merlot 2000, Colchagua
Intense, spicy edge to the richly fruited nose. The chunky, savoury, chocolatey palate is rich and full. Nicely weighted. Very good+ (£14.99 Safeway, Majestic, Oddbins, Chateauonline, Harrods, Fortnum & Mason)

Casa Lapostolle Clos Apalta 2000, Colchagua
Opaque red/black colour. Very rich, sweet nose with intense, liquoricey, menthol-edged blackcurrant fruit. The palate is hugely concentrated and intense with spicy edged sweet liquoricey fruit. A very seductive, lush style: very modern and very ripe. Very good/excellent (£45 Oddbins, Selfridges, Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols)  

Wines tasted September 2002
For an older review of this producer's wines (November 2000) see here

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