2017 Lázuli Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley Chile $45

Remarkable purity takes center stage here in a wine that's tough to identify as cabernet, though it's 100%. Supple texture forms first impressions with tannins finer and lighter than corn starch. The shapely fruit is structured for poise rather than brawn, and restraint over posturing, perhaps thanks to the high elevation/lower temperatures of these vines. Seamless and with no bite whatsoever; its acidity is softly integrated, giving the impression of feminine grace. What this wine lacks in flashiness, it makes up for in precision. On day two the blue fruit comes forward with linearity, but the finesse doesn't fade, suggesting longevity ahead. Overtly pricey given the company it keeps, but certainly unique.

Technical Stuff: A 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from old vines planted in Peñalolén, a commune that borders Santiago de Chile at a height of 700 m/2,300 feet in the Maipo Andes. In summer, the difference in day and night temperatures can be as much as 20 degrees, resulting in gradual ripening.    Soils are colluvial, created by erosion from the slopes of the Cerro de la Cruz Mountain (3,231 m/10,600 feet), beginning with a fine layer of limestone and clay before gaining texture with sharp-edged rocks low in organic material that do not retain water. When the irrigation program is well-judged, Cabernets from the area obtain a fruity expression, with hints of spice and a mildly concentrated palate, finely grained tannins, and good freshness.