Highlights: De Martino Viejas Tinajas Cinsault 2020, Itata, Chile
This wine really launched De Martino, and Itata, on the world wine map when the first vintage in 2011 was released. They found used and abandoned tinajas, handmade clay jars of varying shapes and sizes, while driving through vineyards in southern Chile, and decided to try these for making wine, as their ancestors did. They have approximately 150 of these vessels in their care, averaging 150 years each. This Cinsault comes from a single vineyard in coastal Itata’s granite and quartz soils, planted in 1982, own-rooted and dry-farmed. Bunches are destemmed and the whole berries are put into the tinajas for semi-carbonic native fermentation. The free run and pressed wine are blended for a winter stint in the vessels, bottled in late spring without fining or filtration. So perfumed, with layers of wild plum, peony, iris, boysenberry, wild blueberry, thorns, and tea leaves across a fine, slender, saline palate. Long, lean tannins frame this textural, graceful red, leaving a wake of finely rasped pink peppercorns. Such a gem, drinking beautifully now, and with time ahead. 93/100
See Goode’s 2020 report on De Martino.