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Vino de Chile 2014, Huasa Pilen Alto, Louis-Antoine Luyt ($31.86, private import, 6 bottles/case)
Luyt owns no vineyards but has a long-term relationship with more than a dozen small growers. This 100% Pais (aka Mission, Listan Prieto) cuvée is made from organically farmed 220-year-old vines (that’s not a typo) rooted in shallow clay-loam over a granitic basement (that’s not a typo) in the Maule region at an elevation of 580 metres (1,900 feet). The grapes are manually harvested and given two weeks’ carbonic maceration. Alcoholic fermentation is at low temperatures and with indigenous yeasts. After gentle pressing, the wine is transferred to third- and fourth-fill French oak barrels for six months’ maturation. 14% ABV. Quebec agent: Rézin.
The reductive nose of band-aid seguing to cedar, “peat,” “dehydrated strawberry,” “plum vinegar” and “a summer roofing quality” (quoting other tasters) comes around after a while. In the mouth, the wine is fluid, supple and elusive, hard to pin down. Broader, deeper and darker than the 2014 Pipeño but, like it, full of juicy fruit, minerals, soft tannins and bright acidity. So rustic yet so drinkable. Returning to my glass at the end of the tasting (an hour or two after it had been poured), the wine was transformed, smelling cleaner and red fruitier with overtones of new leather and tasting remarkably pure, bright and fresh. (Buy again? Yep.)

If the description of the wine’s nose seems familiar, it’s because, due to a transcription error, it was mistakenly attached to the earlier note for the 2014 Refugio. Apologies for any confusion.

MWG July 15th tasting: flight 6 of 8

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Written by carswell

August 29, 2016 at 11:33

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