Casa Lapostolle 2000 "Cuvée Alexandre" Colchagua Valley Merlot ($19.99)
Very dark reddish-purple, bright reddish-violet at the edge. Blackberry and plum aromas are pure and clean, elegant natural fruit. Cherry-berry fruit and lemon-squirt acidity on the palate, well balanced over a distinct tannic core. Much more "traditional" than the Montes Alpha, "Old World" in style, rather reminiscent of a Right Bank Bordeaux if not quite so austere. Although the wine sees 12 months in French oak barrels, the wood seems discreet and well integrated. US Importer: Schieffelin & Somerset Co., NYC. (Jul 17, 2004)

FOOD MATCH: Char-grilled, medium-rare dry-aged beer ribeye steaks make a perfect accompaniment, ameliorating the wine's youthful tannins and showcasing its pure fruit.



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