A Los Viñateros Bravos "Granítico" Cinsault 2020
Cinsault｜Itata Valley, Chile
From the foot of Patagonia, we bring you a fresh, uber-drinkable “porch pounder” red wine from heritage vines in Chile! The Itata Valley is part of the long, narrow strip of vines growing up and down the Chilean coast – grapevines have been planted in South America for nearly five centuries; 16th-century colonial settlers arriving from Portugal and Spain brought vine cuttings with them, planting them as they spread across the hemisphere. Varieties included grapes such as Pais, Muscat, Carignan, Malbec, and of course Cinsault. Settlers likely didn’t know exactly what grapes, and these mixto field blends thrived in the arid, Andean climate. The last century or so saw the vines disregarded, often harvested en masse for the country’s drive towards cheap bulk wine.
Enter Leonard Erzao of “A Los Viñateros Bravo” – after studying Agronomy and Enology at the University of Chile, he set out to become a beacon for so-called “natural” wine in his native country and to revitalize these old vines. He’s a walking encyclopedia of the vineyards and can often tell what type of grape simply by inspecting its leaf pattern.
This “Granítico” Cinsault is a selection of biodynamically-farmed, ancient, dry-farmed vines of up to 100-years-plus. Fresh and alive, you’ll find aromas of fresh black cherry, red pepper, rooibos tea, and mulberry with a little kick of cardamom in its spicy, bracing finish. It’s a wine you can put a slight chill on, tote to the park or sidle up to the grill with. Add some friends and a good time is all but ensured!
As the name describes, the soils here are 200-million-year-old granite bedrocks, stretching up and down the southern tip of Chile pointing towards Patagonia and its Andean peaks. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful landscape and one that’s surprisingly easy to cultivate organically and relatively hands-off. The arid, windswept mountains keep pests and mold at bay, while providing rain to the well-draining soils. Extended sunny days above the fog-line and tempered elevations mean long, moderated ripening and slow development of flavor. This is an exciting region and Leonardo is well positioned to lead the Chilean vanguard of affordable, responsibly-made heritage wine into the 21st century! ¡Qué lindo, Leonardo!
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