Viejas Tinajas Cinsault, De Martino
Chile – 2018
Tasting Note: This violet-coloured wine has a floral and perfumed nose with notes of violets, fresh red and black fruits and spices. In the mouth, it is medium-bodied with fine, smooth tannins, fresh acidity and abundant fruit, accompanied by a long finish.
Food Matching: Delicious slightly chilled, served with red meats that are not too overpowering, fresh salads, cheeses and cold cuts, or drink on its own.
Vineyard: De Martino are a family estate of Italian heritage and are heralded as being somewhat the pioneers of Chilean wine production. Whilst they have a multitude of accolades, they are renownded for being the first to identify, bottle and export a varietal Carmenere from Chile and also for changing the Chilean wine scene in 2011 when their winemaker, the revered Marcel Retamal, decided that wines should be made completely differently to avoid the over extracted, high alcohol, oaky examples available on the market. To this end, he stated that grapes would be picked earlier, all oenological products such as commercial yeasts, enzymes, tannins would be stopped in favour of spontaneous ferment and indigenous yeasts and finally that zero new oak would be used as to not mask the great fruit they could produce. Needless to say that others soon followed suit! Add to this the fact that they have been voted “winery of the year” on three separate occasions, they were Chile’s first Carbon Neutral Winery, their wines are highly awarded by all critics and journalists (incl. getting top spot in Robert Parkers Chile review) and they continue to push boundaries by elaborating wines with different varietals and different terroirs, they are without doubt the top estate in Chile right now. Following 350 separate vineyard trials, they now make wine from Maipo, Maule, Cachapoal, Casablanca, Traiguen, Itata and Limari using everything from Cabernet and Chardonnay to San Francisco and Pais with the focus being primarily on Terroir. The real perk of De Martino is that they have everything from great value varietals, to highly polished single estate wines to incredibly unique and funky field blends. The Viejas Tinajas wines, meaning "old Amphora" are a homage to the New World's oldest winemaking region, Itata. When the first Spanish settlers arrived in 1551, this is very much the style of wine they may well have been drinking! Very old vines planted sometime between 100-300 years ago; dry farmed; field blend of Pais and San Francisco; farmed and produced following the old traditional and ancestral methods of yesteryear.
Vinification: The bunches are destemmed and the whole berries are put into old terracotta amphorae, where they undergo a semi-carbonic-style spontaneous alcoholic fermentation. Later, the free-run and press wines are blended and the wine matures all winter long in the amphorae. In spring, after the malolactic fermentation is complete, the wine is bottled. Unfined & unfiltered.