Viejas Tinajas Muscat, De Martino
Chile – 2018
Tasting Note: This wine is aromatic and intense with great volume in the mouth and achieves a balance between the fresh acidity and the texture contributed by 6 months’ maceration with the skins. Vinification in amphorae contributes rich texture to the palate and results in a wine with tension, volume and smoothness. Ageing potential of around 10 years.
Food Matching: Mature cheeses, charcuterie, or simply amazing 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.
Vinification: The grapes are destemmed and the whole berries placed inside the "viejas tinajas" (old terracotta amphorae). Alcoholic fermentation is carried out with native yeasts and the wine remains in contact with the skins for 6 months until malolactic fermentation is complete. The wine is then racked to another "tinaja" and aged for a further 6 months prior to bottling. No fining or filtering and no sulphites added.