Viña González Bastías, Maule Valley, Chile: exciting traditional wines from extremely old vines

Jose Luís Bastías and Daniela Lorenzo are custodians of a remarkable four-hectare vineyard in Chile’s Maule Valley planted in the early 19th century. Jose Luís is fifth generation of this family operation and Daniela, who is an agronomist, joined forces with him when they got together in 2013. The project is Viña González Bastías.

The vineyard is planted with large bush vines which are farmed sympathetically, with animal grazing used to control the weeds and also to act as fertilizer. País is the main variety, but there are also pink Moscatel, Semillon and Torontel.

For destemming, a traditional wooden Zaranda de Coligüe is used (a sheet of bamboo with the grapes caught between the gaps), and fermentation is with no additions in concrete. Then maturation takes place in amphora or traditional foudres made from Raulí oak. The only addition is a small amount of sulfites before bottling.

This first wine is a really interesting skin-contact wine from Maule in Chile, with Pink Moscatel, Torontel and red grape País in the blend. Moscatel and Torontel are destemmed with a traditional wooden zaranda and then País and it’s fermented with wild yeasts in lagares, with foot treading. It’s on skins for around a month and then it goes to foudres from Chilean Raulí oak. Hand bottled with a small dose of SO2, without filtration.

Viña González Bastías Naranjo 2019 Maule Valley, Chile
12.5% alcohol. 40% Pink Moscatel, 40% Torontel, 20% País. From 4 hectares of 200 year old bush vines. This is a cloudy golden colour. It has lovely rich flavours of peach and table grapes with some orange peel notes, some tinned pear and a twist of grapefruit, as well as a bit of pithiness. There’s a lovely texture here with subtle bitterness on the finish and a bit of structure, which counters the sweet fruit nicely. This is a really lovely orange wine. 92/100 (£21.70 The Sourcing Table – declaration of interest, I work for them as contributing editor)

Viña González Bastías Matorral 2019 Maule, Chile
13% alcohol. This is from Pais (aka Mission, Listan Prieto, Chileno, Hussa). From four hectares of 200 year old vines. It’s naturally made, and matured for 12 months in refurbished Chilean Raulí foudres. A very expressive lighter-styled red with red cherries, spice, some silkiness, with real purity and finesse. There’s massive drinkability here, but there’s also some seriousness: fine spices, a bit of grip, some nice mineral hints, too. It’s so enjoyable on a number of levels. 93/100 (£19.50 The Sourcing Table – declaration of interest, I work for them as contributing editor)

Viña González Bastías Tierra Madre 2019 Maule Valley, Chile
12.5% alcohol. 50% Semillon, 50% Torontel. This is so fine and fresh with lovely notes of mint, dried herbs and lemon. It’s a focused, fruity wine with lovely precision and delicate citrus, as well as some white peach and table grape. Fine and focused with a real brightness, and also some grainy, mineral spiciness. 92/100 (£21.50 The Sourcing Table – declaration of interest, I work for them as contributing editor

UK agent: Indigo Wine

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