2014 De Martino "Viejas Tinajas" Cinsault Coelemu Itata Valley
Wine & Spirits
Cinsault was a fashionable vine to plant in Itata in the 1930s, to add some color to the local País. These old, dry-farmed vines in the coastal hills went to bulk wine for locals until winemakers like Marcelo Retamal and Marco De Martino began seeking out the best sites for more ambitious selections. They ferment the wine in lagars and age it in large clay amphorae (tinajas). The wine is all about fresh fruit, a lively red to pour, poolside, this summer. But that brisk freshness also carries more profound depths of flavor, all the while cool, light and gracious. The locals might serve it with queso de cabeza, the Chilean version of tête de veau persillé.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2014 Cinsault Viejas Tinajas is also sold under the Secano Interior appellation, as the name Itata cannot be used for 'un-noble' grapes. The organically farmed grapes are sourced from an ungrafted, head-pruned vineyard, and they fermented destemmed in terracotta amphorae for 15 days -- then kept there for the winter and spring, and bottled unfiltered after malolactic with just a little sulphur. The nose is somehow organic, mixing aromas of dried roses, decayed wild strawberries, raspberries and a hint of leaves; it is a little musky, cleaner than previous vintage with some earthy aromas that are focused and precise. The palate is light to medium-bodied with moderate acidity, but the wine is still fresh. Ideal with white meat, charcuterie and lighter food. This should appeal to the 'natural' wine public, but also to the wider audience. I like this much better than previous years. (LG)
Very fresh, fruity and rather Beaujolais-like. Lots of personality.
De Martino has arguably undergone one of the more radical transformations the wine world has seen in the past five years. The second largest owner of organic vineyards in Chile, with 740 acres in production, De Martino is stepping up to the plate in other ways as well: the winery is 100% carbon neutral and beginning in 2011 they have stopped purchasing new oak barrels. That year they purchased 140 tinajas, the traditional Chilean clay vessels that resemble amphoras, in varying shapes and sizes. They also invested in 5000l Austrian (Stockinger) foudres and continue to seek out Chilean foudres made from the indigenous oak known locally as "raulí." Cinsault is an historic grape variety in Chile's Itata Valley, a beautiful but relatively poor agricultural region in Chile's region VIII, nestled amongst the granitic coastal range and enjoying sufficient rainfall to allow for dry farming. This wine is pretty, purely cherry fruited, floral, with a light and firm structure. It more than compensates for its light body with ample acidity, floral tones and a crisp, quaffable quality. I could drink this all day! (Joe Manekin, K&L Chilean wine buyer)