Jan 2018 – Winemaking started in the Itata Valley in 1551 and the original winemakers would ferment and age their wines, using Muscat grapes, in clay amphorae, known in Spanish as “tinajas”. Itata is a long way south of Santiago near the port city of Concepcion, and pushed the limits of winemaking. Muscat is a very versatile grape and can be used for dry or sweet, still or sparkling wines. As a dry table wine, Muscat has a high acid combined with a floral perfume, orange blossom character.
From vines planted in 1975, to say this wine is unique and maybe a little bizarre is no understatement. The color is golden from extended aging on the skins, don’t be fooled though, acidity is great. The nose is exotic and very fragrant with notes of pine resin, orange peel, baking spices, lots of floral and a saline quality which we think is from the vines struggling for so long in the ancient decomposed granite soils. The palate is a little saline and tannic, with a tangy character like you are biting into a cherry. An interesting wine with huge geek appeal.
This wine is unfined and unfiltered which is by no means a bad thing, rather a sign of artisan winemaking. This leads to sediment and a cloudy quality in the wine if the bottle is handled a lot before opening. We recommend letting the bottle sit upright on a counter so all the sediment can settle, then pouring gently.
96 pts Decanter October 2017
A back to the future, amphora-fermented and aged white: baking spices, orange zest, rose water and a tannic bite and a salty, almost Sherry-like tang. Quintessential Itata. Drink 2017-2020.