Not since June 4th 1940 has anything been carried out with such urgency. My wine chiller failed! As I looked in horror the temperature rose to 77 degrees and, like Dunkirk, the evacuation was on.
The cooler contained about 28 bottles or approximately 1/3 of my cellar. Worse yet, they were the more expensive bottles, the bottles I’m “collecting” or aging. So, while evacuating my treasures to the cooler environment of my basement, I was reading the labels like a philatelist lovely studying the pages of his collection.
The Lapostolla did not make the long trip down to the basement, I ran out of room. So instead it went to my office and was opened. Don’t judge me, evacuations are stressful and make you thirsty, and after having to pull all the paper work to find the receipt and warranty on the cooler I needed refreshment.
I had purchased the Canto months ago after reading a review in Wine Spectator. I just never had the reason to pop the cork. The wine was every bit as good as the review said it would be. With a blend of 45% Carmenere, 25% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Syrah, that’s pretty powerful chemistry. Even better, it was rated a 91!
The color was a royal purple, and I mean King of King’s purple, which was absolutely beautiful in the glass. The nose was big, even Josephine, when she came into the room to make sure I hadn’t popped a vein, mentioned the wonderful aroma. On the palate, the Canto was full red fruit, a good, fulfilling taste. It was like the leather binder on a good book that makes you want to settle in for a long read.
The flavor was great: full-bodied with a character that said “I know I’m a power wine and I’m not shy about it.” Wave after wave of red and black fruit came flowing from my glass, yet this wine was still elegant, not a bully. At that moment I thought, “Cooler, what cooler?” It was now all about just relaxing and enjoying the Canto.
Lapostolle is owned by Alexandra Lapostolle, and I bet everyone has drunk the other beverage she makes, Grand Manier. Alexandra is French but like so many other French wine makers she saw the terroir of Chile and move there. This is one of my favorite producers in Chile as the company has just been amazing at producing several outstanding, but incredibly affordable, wines.
Carmenere is the main fuel in this mixture. Originally from France, in the Medoc region of Bordeaux, it’s considered one of the Grandparents of the Cabernet family. Wiped out in France during the 1867 Phylloxera plague it somehow managed to get to Chile where, until the early 90’s, it was thought to be Merlot. A similar story can be told in Italy where for years they thought they were growing Cabernet Franc. The grape is beginning to gain acceptance in Washington State, South Africa, and Australia, but ground zero for Carmenere is differently Chile. Lapostolle has a full Camenere offering that I am now anxious to try…after I get the wine cooler fixed!