Discovering Dry-Grown Chile: A Comprehensive Guide to the Historic Itata Region

By | 3 March 2024

The modern era of Chilean wine has been defined by French grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenère, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, with Syrah and Pinot Noir advancing more recently. Most of these vineyards exist around Santiago in the northern region of Chile. Yet, another aspect of Chile reveals its viticultural roots that I’m delving into, the southern Chile. The south is the home of Chile’s viticultural legacy, fostering unique grape varieties in vineyards nurtured with dry farming and a rich 500 years old wine-growing history that originated from the Spanish colonialists.

In a disused winery housed in a vineyard, I had an insightful exposure to the wines from Itata, an emerging wine region of Chile. Here, I saw an antiquated wine press and huge wooden vats. This vineyard in Guarilihue named Leonaro which translates to ‘where the lion resides,’ was purchased by De Martino 8 years back and is located on an incline of the coastal mountain range in Chile, 20 km off the Pacific. The aged winery stands as an archive showing how vintage wines were produced: from harvesting vineyard grapes, grinding them underfoot in shallow vats. After pressing, the emergent wine was transferred to broad oak vats to complete fermentation, or for maturation. This region, steeped in history, lost its appeal as Chile’s focus moved towards French grape varieties cultivated in the north, near Santiago.

‘Itata predates Médoc,’ points out Marco de Martino, who, along with his brother Sebastien, crafts some enthralling wines from Itata. This view has impacts: wine grapes were first sown here in 1547, indicating that wine was made here even before Bordeaux, arguably a world-renowned fine wine region, had thought of similar ventures.

‘We are in the epicenter of Chilean winemaking practice,’ Marco explains. ‘The vineyards are primarily occupied by age-old bush vines.’

‘For Chile, Itata was one of the most crucial viticulture locations,’ remarks Nicolas Perez, a winemaker at De Martino. ‘I prefer discussing the history before diving into geographical or geological details of Itata.’ Perez explains that in the mid-16th century, Spain dispatched experts to inspect Itata’s vineyards because they produced the finest wines in Chile and Peru. ‘This conveys the immense potential of the vines brought by the Spaniards.’

The new De Martino property, Leonaro, measures a total of 18 hectares, with 10 hectares dedicated to vines. The remaining 8 hectares were formerly vineyards but were subsequently planted with eucalyptus and pine trees. Despite forestry being a major industry in this area, it lacks environmental sustainability and has often caused disastrous wildfires in recent times. ‘One of our initial tasks was restoring the vineyards,’ states Marco. ‘Afterward, we removed the eucalyptus and pine trees and replanted with native species.’

What makes Itata so unique? ‘The primary factor is tradition,’ responds Marco. ‘There’s a prolonged tradition here. The earliest vineyards were established in the 1500s. This region boasts a rich winemaking tradition and is deeply ingrained in the local culture. He mentions three key attributes: the nearness to the Pacific ensures a relatively cool climate, adequate rainfall for dry farming, and the presence of very old vineyards growing on their natural roots.’

Leo Erazo, one of the region’s most prominent wine growers, explains why this region offers such great potential. ‘Viticulture here mirrors pre-industrial revolution practices,’ he states. ‘These may feel antiquated methods, but they offer valuable insights worth revisiting, learning from, and potentially implementing in the future.’

One of the remarkable benefits is how seamlessly the main red and white varieties, País and Moscatel, have adapted to the region. Having been cultivated here for 470 days, their drought resistance and not needing rootstocks stand out. The skill and experience of local vineyard workers with these vineyards are valuable learning opportunities. Their unique, specialized way of working the land is unlike anything seen elsewhere in the world.

País variety has again gained popularity after it was relegated to making inexpensive bulk wine. Viña Bouchon winemaker, Christian Sepúlveda, formerly made wine from Colchagua to the north, but now operates from Maule moving southwards. The regions encompass Maule, Bío Bío, and Itata, along with collectively being casually known as dry-grown Chile or formally as Secano Interior. Sepúlveda suggests, ‘Wine has been produced here for five centuries. The Spanish mainly influenced early wine making by introducing Listán Prieto.’ This grape is also regarded as País, or Mission (in California), or Criolla Chica (in Argentina). It seems most ships from Spain coming this way used to stop at the Canary Islands. As per Sepúlveda, ‘Listan Prieto can be found in the Canary Islands rather than mainland Spain.’

In 1910, the red grape composition in Chile had just 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and predominant 85% País, with all of Cabernet Sauvignon being planted in Maule and further north. A major earthquake in the south in 1939 led to Chilean authorities introducing some new varieties. As a result, Carignan and Cinsault came southward to join País.

The Secano Interior region includes Maule, Ñuble (covering the administrative zone that includes Itata), and Bío-Bío. Shared characteristics of these regions are granite-based soils, gentle sloping terrain, and a high density of old vines. The soils are commonly nutrient poor and lack water for irrigation. The focus of fruit production is on Chile’s Central Valley where irrigation water is readily available, leaving the old vineyards in these mentioned regions. This has led to a high concentration of old vines in these regions.

Altogether, there are 17,653 hectares that are dry-farmed in Chile.

Additionally, there are 15,021 hectares of head-trained bush vines.

Let’s take a look at the different varieties in the Secano Interior.

As Christian explains, these vineyards are typically farmed by farmers and not wineries. These farmers practice mixed agriculture including grain cultivation, livestock rearing (mainly sheep), horticulture and viticulture. They produced wine in order to attract workers to their land. In the Secano Interior, the soil was systematically worked. Chile experiences 3-4 months of rainy weather, followed by six months of dry conditions. Therefore, it was crucial to properly manage the soil: break it open, allow it to absorb the rain, and then seal it to conserve the moisture.

Hand labour is essential due to the vineyard’s layout. However, País was only selling for $100 per ton, rendering this method unprofitable. Consequently, farmers started using longer pruning for higher yields, disregarding soil work, and incorporating herbicides and more potent plant protection products. ‘When herbicides are used, maturity is achieved with yellow leaves,’ he explains. ‘For me, the difference dry farming makes is significant – the maturity is astounding.’

At the Leonara vineyard, we observe three horses laboring the soil. Although soil work isn’t currently trendy in this era of regeneration, it’s done here for the reasons Christian elaborated: once to open up the soil for winter precipitation, and a second time to close it off before the start of the growth season in order to retain moisture. Here, it adds up.

Why did Itata fall out of favor, then, if it’s so wonderful? ‘Chile cultivated vineyards further north, everything was centered on Cabernet and Bordeaux varieties,’ Leo Erazo explains. The Itata wine was shipped in bulk to the north. ‘From here, it was transported to the Conception area in 600-liter barrels called pipas,’ says Leo. ‘The inevitable result was cheap bulk wine, as vines can yield a considerable amount. Cultivation was developed to produce 20 kg per vine. Quality and quantity seldom go hand in hand. It fell further and further. When the mines were shut, everybody was at a loss.’ Demand for inexpensive wine declined substantially. ‘Even now, it’s still at a loss’.

However, the tides are turning. ‘The younger guys are moving in. Ten years ago, everyone was around 70 years old. Even though there’s some progress, it remains minimal. We possess 4000 hectares here, yet it decreases annually. Here, there’s a market. The challenge lies in encouraging these youngsters to taste wine, as well as to sample wines from different regions to expose them to the tastes of various wines. Otherwise, they might end up in Chile thinking, just as I did, that Cabernet is superior and País is garbage. The palate adjusts to these robust wines. The wines here are more subdued. They are structured but delicate, not large wines. Their eyes are opened when they start tasting Morgon, Etna, and other wines with flavors similar to what we make.’  

There’s a star in Itata named Leo who has a notable admiration for Cinsualt, creating seven versions of it. In his red creations, he naturally incorporates 20-30% whole bunch.

Pipeño Branco 2021
Leo’s Pipeño Branco combines Moscatel and Torrontel, the Argentinian expression of Torrentes. Known for its late ripening contributing to the freshness. The fermentation occurs on the skins, following which it’s basket-pressed and left to age in concrete tanks. Characters are fresh, juicy displaying prominent floral, grapey notes accompanied by a refreshing acid line. Radiating fun and vitality, it scores 90/100.

La Ruptura 2019
Skilfully fermented on Muscat skin, La Ruptura 2019 showcases a concentrated, fine, and mineral-rich character. The presence of structural elements shines through but remains finely grained. Table grape richness breezes against fine citrus, providing a perfect balance of freshness and texture. A hint of mint marks the finish. This magnificent creation receives a score of 93/100.

Pel de Arcia 2021
Pel de Arcia 2021 is an amalgamation of Moscatel fermented in clay, whole bunch, which is later pressed to concrete after a few months. It’s characterized by a beautiful density and intensity. The interplay of rich, bold flavors of melons, grapes, and pear fruit meshed with spicy structure spells wonder. Subtle hints of tea and mint make it more alluring. Deserving a mention for being rich and expressive, this lovely creation earns 94/100.

Pipeño Tinto 2021
Alcohol Content: 12.5%. This wine is made from Cinsault grapes harvested from the lower part of the vineyard with more soil and fewer rocks. The grapes are left on the skins for two or three weeks in open fermenters before being transferred to concrete. The result is a wine that is juicy and fresh, with delightful vibrant cherry and plum flavors. Despite being completely dry, it has a hint of sweetness. In terms of taste, it balances the easy and delicious with a slight touch of solemnity. Score: 92/100

Bravos Granítico Cinsault 2021
This wine follows the same winemaking process as the Pipeño. The difference is that it is made from 60 years old vines in the hills. The flavor profile is vibrant and bursting with crunchy raspberry fruit. It’s pure and refreshing, with bright acidity. This wine exhibits amazing energy and purity, with faint green hints adding to its freshness. It’s a lovely wine filled with intricate details. Score:94/100

El Túnel 2021
El Túnel 2021 is derived from Cinsault grapes, grown a bit higher up in the vineyard. The growth is closer to the rock, with only 40-60 cm of topsoil. This red granite soil is laden with quartz. The wine is light in color and has a smoky, spicy aroma. It gives off a scent of wild strawberry mixed with some fine herbs. The palate appreciates the light and elegant body of the wine, with fine red fruits and a touch of sappy green hint. The wine boasts of precision and elegance. Score: 95/100

Amigo Piedra 2019
This wine is made from Cinsault grapes that grow near the top of the hill, where there is very little topsoil. The color is a pale red. The taste is beautiful, with elegant and fine-grained tannin and amazing red fruits and red cherry flavors. This wine is juicy and pure, with fine spices that leaves a lovely presence in the mouth. This wine is utterly beautiful and refined. Score: 96/100

Bravos Volcanico Pais 2021
The volcanic sand near the river add a different charm to this vintage. The overall experience is boosted with incredible brightness, mixed with pepper and dried herb flavors. The mid-palate reveals a richness that transcends into a texture that one can only describe as silky. The essence of strawberry and cherry intermingled with herbs adds to the wonders of this wine. The complexities continue with smoky, spicy undertones that blend perfectly with the luscious fruit taste. Rated 94 out of 100.

Bravos Gránitico 2021
This wine is grown in granitic soil, originating from a vineyard first planted in 1798 with some roots dating back to that time. The creation of this wine was to prove that Pais grapes could express terroir effectively, challenging the common thinking that the Pais grapes are only good for making bulk wine. The overall taste is fresh and invigorating with spicy and mineral nuances beautifully complimenting the direct fruit flavors. The structure and expression of Pais in this wine is commendable, scoring it a 95 out of 100.

La Resistencia 2021
This Pais brew comes from the hilltops with a thin layer of top soil providing its unique characteristics. The wine gives off lovely aromatic scents and is finely spiced with detailed flavors of raspberry and cherry. The palate is both bright and texturally appealing, bringing a silky sense of taste that combines with a fine-grained tannic structure. The wine flows smoothly, expressing well with a touch of sappy freshness to the elegant fruit flavors. This beauty of a wine is capped off with a score of 95 out of 100.

De Martino is a winery that originated in the north but has gradually shifted their emphasis towards the south. They are crafting some exquisite wines from Itata. They believe there are three key methods for white winemaking in this region: hyper-reductive, orange, and oxidative, with their preference leaning toward the oxidative method.

Gallardia Old Vine White 2021
85% Moscatel and 15% Chasselas (Corinthia). The decision of which wines the grapes go to is made based on taste. The grapes that don’t make it to Viejas Tinajas are used for this wine. It is highly aromatic with lovely grapey fruit. The wine is juicy, fresh and has some richness. The hints of mint with the fruity grape-ness makes it very expressive, with a nice spicy flourish on the finish. 91/100

Viejas Tinajas Blanco 2021
85% Moscatel and 15% Chasselas. Both types of grapes are harvested together and destemmed. Muscat has big berries while the Chasselas are super-ripe and smaller. The fermentation process takes place on the skins and the wine is left on them for 6 months. This creates an aromatic masterpiece with lovely grapey notes, pear and passionfruit flavors, and a touch of chalkiness. The palate is bright and contains some lovely salty notes with fine chalky texture. Its balance is complemented with a hint of aniseed on the finish. 93/100

Gallardia Tinto Cinsault 2021
Fermented in stainless steel, its fine aromatics consist of some cinnamon and spice, as well as sweet cherry and strawberry fruit. It’s really bright and vivid with nice freshness and purity. The tannins are fine-grained making the wine supple and delicious, with some warmth on the finish. 93/100

Viejas Tinajas Tinto 2021
100% Cinsault. This is a fresh and textural wine with sweet cherry and raspberry fruit, some pear richness, and then lovely fine-grained structure. An undercurrent of a lovely stony, slightly earthy flavor introduces the pure redcurrant, cherry and plum fruit. It is bright, precise and has lovely texture. Its real finesse and purity make it so fine and focused. Just beautiful. 95/100

Alice comes from Australia and made Itata her home in 2020, conducting vintage since 2019. She has since established her brand, Strange Grapes, in this region that she grew familiar with as a buyer of minimally treated South American wines. Alice supports wine production with minimal intervention and laments the overuse of glyphosate and over-tillage in Itata. Currently, she is collaborating with three local growers and admits to having faced challenges in finding honest partners for her wine business.

Pipeño Pastiche 2019
This wine is a 60/40 blend of Moscatel and Chasselas. Moscatel stays on skins for a year while Chasselas goes through carbonic maceration followed by pressing to a barrel. The result is a fresh, pliant, and lively wine with a textured granularity in its fruit notes. It possesses a refined delicacy with a subtle hint of honey. The perfect harmony of this wine has earned a score of 93 out of 100.

Pipeño Pastiche 2021
This wine, with its 10.6% alcohol content, is made from 100% Moscatel. It is a complex beverage, exuding vibrant grape flavour, and a hint of salinity. Accompanying the minerality of this wine is a slightly structured acidity. Taste notes of lemon, mandarin, dried herbs, and mint can be discerned in this finely detailed wine, which scores another 93 out of 100.

Pablo Padredos shares that their minimalist approach to vineyard maintenance sometimes invites skepticism from neighbors who mistakenly view the thriving plant life as a sign of neglect. Their no-till vineyard strategy respects the natural cycles of the soil.

Mingaco Moscatel de Tinaja 2021 Itata, Chile
11.8% alcohol. This is from the home farm and is made with no added sulfites. They farm no-till without herbicide. One part has been farmed regeneratively for 12 years, the other part for 7 years, and this is a release of just 100 bottles made on skins (for 4-5 months) in amphora. Complex citrus fruit nose with a raisiny edge and notes of grape and baked apple. Intense on the palate with high acidity and nice spicy complexity. Deeply coloured but showing amazing freshness and minerality. It’s such an interesting wine. 94/100

Mingaco Mezcla Tinta 2021
12.2% alcohol. This is a blend of País and Cinsault, cofermented on skins for 10 days and fermented in old oak. Supple, fine and expressive. Grainy with nice detail. Has brightness and also some supple cherry and strawberry fruit with nice tension and balance. Fine and juicy. 94/100

Cinsault 2021
Fermented in plastic bins for 7 days then aged in used oak for four months. Sweetly fruited and juicy with strawberry and raspberry fruit. Supple and very drinkable. 91/100

2022 from concrete egg: juicy and bright with grippy raspberry fruit. Sappy and detailed with nice grip. Supple and fresh and very primary. Vivid. 90-92/100

Moscatel 2021
Experience a 24 h maceration, then undergoes fermentation in tank. It contains a freshness with citrus and mandarin notes. You’ll find some minty notes with nice citrussy notes. Exceptionally expressive with nice detail. It possesses a beautifully nice tension. 91/100

Tasting was done alongside Ronald Vera.

Vera Solis Semillon 2021 Itata
Made with native yeasts, no additions. The taste is stony and appley with pear fruit. Grainy with a savoury edge. Chalky with a slightly oxidative touch with some lemony acidity. 88/100

Vera Solis Pais 2021 Itata
It is vivid and bright with nice cherry and raspberry fruit. The texture is grainy, chalky structure, with a hint of tannin. Enjoy the nice freshness here, with some crunch. Absolutely delicious. 92/100

Pablo Solis

Guindo Cinsault 2020
Part of the vineyard is over 100 years old and is surrounded by cherry trees. Fresh, vivid and minty with nice direct fruit. Taut and linear with nice spicy hints. Has some grippy tannins here, some dried herbs, and also some firmness on the finish. Herbal and vivid. 89/100

Prófugo Cinsault 2021
13% alcohol. Cinnamon and ginger on the nose, with sweet cherry and plum fruit. Juicy, vivid and bright with some peppery hints. Lively and juicy with lovely red fruits and a hint of mint. Such purity. 91/100

Ignacio Pino came to Itata in 2018 and began to make his own wines here after experience in Portugal, New Zealand and California.

Chasselas 2021
Originates from a unique area in the territory, near to the ocean. It’s fermented in tinajas, with 30% of whole cluster on the peels. Maceration is three months long. It’s then shifted to stainless steel, with sulfites of 25 PPM before bottling. The texture is grainy and chalky with wonderful citrus and pear fruits along with some clay and mineral traits. Slightly briny. 94/100

País 2021
Comprises 11.5% alcohol. 50% of whole clump, with minimally invasive techniques. 20% of vat bleed to amplify the concentration. No punchdown, only infusion. No additional ingredients. Sulfites of 25 PPM just in advance of bottling. Flavorful and smooth with fresh cherry and raspberry fruits, enhanced with some pepper notes. Pleasant acidity with some grip on completion. Highly expressive with good intensity. 93/100

The three siblings steering this undertaking previously sold wine in bulk and switched to bottling in 2018. Assisted by a professional winemaker. The wine was poured by Vale Madrones.

Weñe Semillon Chasselas Moscatel de Alexandria 2020
Aged in oak that hasn’t been toasted. Citrusy nose with a chalky mineral edge. The palate is fruity with a unique chalky, mineral character, quite rocky. Texture is grainy, with a dry herb nighttime. There’s a lovely heaviness here: a distinctive wine. 91/100

Weñe Cinsault 2020
Aged 18 months in concrete egg. 20% whole cluster. Sappy and detailed with a stony edge to the sweet cherry and plum fruit. Very expressive with lovely elegant fruit: it’s quite ripe and broad. 93/100

Juan Ignacio Acuña and Mary Aracibia started making wine here in 2011. He trained as a chef and sommelier in Santiago and lived in Paris for a while. ‘I was tired of cooking and wanted to try the wine industry.’ They have no kids but five dogs and enjoy living on the farm. They are also about to get their organic certification.

Semillon 2020
Stainless steel fermentation on skins. 76% Semillon, 24% Gewurztraminer. Bright, lively and structured with floral pear and citrus fruit, as well as some grapey notes. Fresh and intense with good acidity. Bright and pure with fine grained structure and nice grape and citrus characters. Fine. 93/100

Muscat 2012
Debut vintage. Lovely stuff. Minty and bright with grainy structure and apple and table grape notes. Nice sweet grape and pear fruit with some mineral hints, but also some richness. Lovely. A hint of TDN from ageing. 92/100

País 2021
Delightfully scented with a fresh aroma of plum and sweet cherry fruit. Exhibits some robustness with its sweet cherry and raspberry flavours, a nice attention to fruit. Quite elegant with a predominant sweetness in its fruit. Rated 92/100.

Tenca Inés Torrontel Natural Orange Wine 2021
Has been in skin maceration for six months with no sulfites added. Carries a cloudy appearance. Its high aromaticism fills the nose with grape-like notes along with some earthy citrus pith and lime oil. The palate is vibrant, grapey and pithy, carrying some hints of spice. Its intense finish comes with a slightly bitter yet flavourful limey taste. A lot to appreciate here – it is a direct and powerfully intense wine. Scored 93/100 (Limited to 800 bottles).

Malcría Cinsault 2021
This wine comes from a vineyard with young vines that were planted in 2012, with a SSW orientation that has a higher clay content. After spending 15 days in lagares, it’s then moved to old barrels. 12.9% alcohol. The sensation is both aromatic and floral with supple, fresh cherry and raspberry fruit. Expressive with good acidity and great purity. Its sappy hints have an appealing drinkability. Rated 93/100 (800 bottles).

The duo behind this intriguing project is David Poblete and Consuelo Poblete, who is the daughter. Consuelo’s mission is to bring back the traditional wine style that was made by her great grandmother. While her style differs from her father’s, they make the Semillon together.  

Semillon 2020
Composed of stainless steel fruit, this wine is bright and alive with a chalky, earthy edge to its sharp citrusy flavour. It displays a pleasant intensity that is illuminated and slightly mineral. It’s vibrant with a subtle hint of herbs. Rated 91/100 and exclusive with just 500 bottles produced.

Cinsault 2020
Possesses an alcohol content of 13.5%. Its barrels were replenished. Displaying a vibrant and very fruity profile, it teems with cherry and raspberry flavours. It’s fresh and grainy, featuring pretty details. This wine is a father’s pride. Rated 90/100.

Subsequent are two wines designed in Consuela’s unique style.

El Rito Olas Moscatel 2021
Created with 4 days of skin contact, followed by fermentation in stainless steel, and then maturation for two months in barrels with no added sulfites. It’s fruity and aromatic with delightful table grapes and lime notes, accompanying a hint of mint. Boasting lovely purity and focus, it also offers some generosity. A truly delightful wine. Rated 92/100.

El Rito Pais 2021

Vineyard of 120 years, devoid of herbicides, made entirely of pais grapes, fermented in stainless steel tanks with 25% comprising of whole clusters. It offers a fresh, sappy and stony taste coupled with sweet cherry and plum flavors though a tinge of mouse is detectable.

The person behind this project are Clara and Walter Arteaga.

Moscatel Chasselas 2021

This wine also contains a minimal amount of Riesling. It is fermented for 16 hours on the skins then shifted to a stainless steel fermenter. Was drained off sediments four times. It’s bottled after 6 months without filtration. The resultant wine is taut, linear, and quite pure with bright pear and citrus flavors and some grapey hints. It’s juicy and focused. Pure. 89/100.

Cinsault 2022 (tank sample)

This is fermented and aged in stainless steel. It’s vivid and juicy with bright cherry and plum flavors. There’s a sense of directness with lovely vivid fruits. It’s too early to pass judgment, but the fruitiness is really appealing.

Ana Maía has managed to cultivate vines that have a history of over 200 years. She embarked on her winemaking journey with País and Cinsault as her first vintage. Her intention is to give due credit to the vine growers and hence, she mentions their names on the label. She embarked on her solo winemaking adventure in 2020. Prior to this, she was associated with Cuchacucha where she had created exclusive quality wines. On Cuchacucha discontinuing their association, she acquired the Mezcla from them.

El Litre Cinsault 2020
This blend boasts of 13.5% alcohol content. Prepared using 50% stems in Tinajas, this process allows the wine to avoid any excess sugary taste while adding texture. The layers of stems and destemmed fruits are prepared lasagna-style and aged in old barrels. The wine has a rich colour hinting at cherry and raspberry flavours. There’s an inherent brightness, with a sense of finesse and purity. The flavour structure could be described as chalky and grainy, with a steadily tapering finish. Highly distinctive. 94/100

Pellines Mezcla Blanca 2018
This is a powerful concoction of Moscatel, Semillon, and Torontes with 12% alcohol content. It involves a skin contact period of 8 months in stainless steel, followed by an aging of 4.5 years in oak. The wine presents a rich mix of apple, spice, pear, and almond flavors. There are hints of honey and nut, brilliantly offset by great acidity. The wine has a crystalline quality, with sharp acidity and subtle traces of citrus and spice. The intense flavors culminate in slightly saline but remarkably fresh aftertaste. An outstanding wine. 96/100 (700 bottles available)

The person driving the intent behind Trifulca is Cristian Lagos. His goal is to preserve and nurture the winemaking practices of his parents. Thus, since 2014, he decided to bottle his wines independently.

Trifulca Cinsault 2019
There is a commendable density to this blend, with an excellent structure that doesn’t overshadow its bright, expressive fruit notes. Imagine the taste of fresh cherry and plum, accented with a hint of fresh raspberry. Its juiciness and intensity make it a truly fresh and vivid wine. This is a high-quality blend, worthy of a rating of 92/100.

Distinto Ensamblaje Cinsault Carignan Zinfandel 2021
This blend boasts a vibrant juicy, brightness. It has a crunchiness that’s balanced with the pleasant taste of plummy fruit. Expect the flavours of raspberry and cherry to stand out in this blend that showcases ripe fruit in a well-balanced composition. The addition of a supple fruit undertone and tartness at finish only adds to its pleasure. This is a lovely, balanced blend that plays on its juicy notes, and it deserves a rating of 92/100.

The journey of Gonzalo began in 2015 when he, along with his wife, started making wines in small quantities. A few years back, in 2010 when he collaborated with San Pedro, his search for new locations to make wine brought him to produce the Los Desperidos blend with Cinsault and País.

Planeta País 2022 (final blend in tank)
The crafting of this blend involves concrete lagar, with 50% whole cluster fusion, and subsequent aging in concrete. Expect a bright and juicy taste along with some herbal hints and beautiful, direct fruit. Extremely expressive and tensile, it impresses with a good structure and some tannins. This blend still retains its primary characters at the end, with a firm grippy finish and good acidity. This makes it vital and pure wine. It secures a rating of 91-93/100.

Planeta Garnacha 2020
Garnacha grafted onto Pais. 100% whole bunch. Taut and fresh with red cherries and plums and nice grip. This is tart and quite tannic. Lovely grainy structure with direct berry fruits. Primary and focused. 92/100

Octavo Pasajero Carignan 2020
Fresh, intense and aromatic on the nose. Vivid with lovely bright raspberry and cherry fruit, with a bit of grip. There’s some flesh here, as well: sweet, floral fruit with nice presence and fruitiness. Such a lovely focus here, with some creaminess. 93/100

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