Highlights: two Itata wines from Dominio del Cuarzo

Felipe Ramirez has a lot of experience making wine around the world, including the Rhône, Burgundy and Oregon, as well as Maule in Chile. This small, recent project has seen him focus on old dry-grown vineyards in Itata, where he makes 4000 bottles each of País (from Nipas on basalt soils) and Cinsault (from Guarilihue on granite). The debut vintage was made in the cellar of his friend, terroir expert Pedro Parra, and now he has his own winery next door.

Dominio del Cuarzo Pais 2021 Itata
12.8% alcohol. Silty black basalt soils, old vines, dry farming. Such a fresh, focused wine with dried herbs, pepper and raspberry and cranberry fruit. There’s some volume here with a hint of mint in the background. Lovely brightness to this wine, allied to elegance. Has a bit of tannic structure, too. Lovely stuff, with just a hint of reduction. 94/100

Dominio Del Cuarzo Cinsualt 2021 Itata
13.5% alcohol. Sandy granitic quarzite soils, dry farmed old vines. Nice presence here with ripe strawberry and cherry fruit, showing nice depth and weight, with a silky quality to the fruit as well as some plushness and ripeness. But overall, the sense is one of elegance and balance. 93/100

UK agent: Indigo Wine