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This is pure, unadulterated, traditional Chilean Pipeno! Agricola Yumbel Estacion is operating as Chilean winemakers have for over a century. Their Paìs vines are over 100 years old, they winery operates with no electricity, the wines are fermented and aged in actual "pipeno" barrels made from native Chilean rauli trees, and there is nothing added, including sulfur. In the glass it has a deep red, almost opaque color with notes of raspberry, black cherry, lemongrass, and dried herbs on the nose. The palate juicy and lifted with crunchy red fruit, blackberry, and blood orange with grippy, mouth-coating tannins. Serve this slightly chilled with anything fresh off the grill! Michelle DeWyngaert
Move over Lambrusco, this is the sparkling red you didn't know you needed! The Alpamanta vineyards are situated at over 3000ft elevation in the Ugarteche sub-region of Mendoza. Criolla Grande (a cross between País and Muscat of Alexandria) is made sparkling with the methode ancestrale creating a frothy, savory, gently tannic wine that is begging to consumed with pizza or sausage and peppers. When we first opened this wine fresh from the fridge it seemed relatively unexpressive, but after letting it come up in temperature (the way you would treat a pipeno with just a slight chill) we were well rewarded with notes of clove, raspberry, smashed purple plums, mulch, cocoa shells, and wild blackberries. Michelle DeWyngaert
This wine is as fun and vibrant as the color suggests! In the coolest subzone of of the Uco Valley in Mendoz, El Cepillo, the winemakers of Canopus harvest organically farmed Pinot Noir on clay-calcareous soil for this bright pink, hazy rosado. Roughly 3/4 of the fruit is direct-pressed and begins natural fermentation in concrete tanks, and then the last 1/4 is left as whole cluster and deposited into the fermentation in mesh bags, like tea, to infuse the wine for six months. The wine is bottled without fining or filtering, and just a small amount of SO2. Notes of juicy watermelon, crunchy, underripe strawberry, and fresh herbs on the nose, and bright strawberry sorbet on the palate; a delight! Michelle DeWyngaert
The fruit for this bottling comes from 50 year-old vines grown in the stony soils of Barreal in San Juan. The wine is fermented to complete dryness and though it sees five days of skin contact, the wine still shows plenty of varietal character with bold tropical and floral aromatics, and just a hint of tannin on the palate. There is a surprising dichotomy of lightness in the wine matched equally with juicy roundness. On the nose is a bouquet of lillies and aromatic flowers with starfruit and juicy peach rings (in the best way), and the palate is bursting with ripe yellow peach, tangerine, and signature stony finish from the Cara Sur vineyards. Michelle DeWyngaert
A family affair with two brothers at the helm creating classic examples of Mendoza's most famous grape varieties. This Malbec bottling is made from organically farmed grapes from La Consulta, Luján de Cujo, and Medrano. The grapes are fermented with three daily pumpovers to build color and extraction, and then aged for 10 months in American oak to soften the texture before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Pedro Parra is champion of terroir. After getting a PhD in the subject and consulting for some of biggest names in wine-making worldwide, he began this project with his family in their homeland, Itata, Chile. The 'Imaginador' is a unique Cinsault from 70-80 year old head-trained vines, but because of the more than 200 year history of this vineyard, there are smatterings of Muscat, Semillon, Carignan, and País planted throughout that make their way into the blend. Pedro purposefully sought out pockets of granite for the vineyards he works with because of the structure it gives to the wines. The grapes are aged in stainless steel and cement tanks for one year, then rest for eight months in bottle before release. Notes of black cherry, sage, raspberry puree, and dark, crushed rocks on the nose, and on the palate are gentle, barely there tannins with great concentration of flavor. Michelle DeWyngaert
Pedro Parra is champion of terroir. After getting a PhD in the subject and consulting for some of biggest names in wine-making worldwide, he began this project with his family in their homeland, Itata, Chile. The 'Imaginador' is a unique Cinsault from 70-80 year old head-trained vines, but because of the more than 200 year history of this vineyard, there are smatterings of Muscat, Semillon, Carignan, and País planted throughout that make their way into the blend. Pedro purposefully sought out pockets of granite for the vineyards he works with because of the structure it gives to the wines. The grapes are aged in stainless steel and cement tanks for one year, then rest for eight months in bottle before release. Each vintage of this wine has been different! The 2019 has notes of roasted beets, dark rock, dried violets, stewed, spiced plums, and wild raspberry. The palate is juicy and very low tannin, but lighter than previous years at only 12% ABV, and brighter, fresher, than the nose would lead you to believe. Michelle DeWyngaert
Way up at 3,215 ft elevation is the picturesque Tikal estate in the famed Vista Flores area of the Uco Valley. The vineyards are organic and biodynamic certified and entirely ungrafted. Though this is a blend of 60% and 40% Syrah, lovers of classic Mendoza Malbec will find much to enjoy. Luscious, ripe blackberry, cassis, and plum preserves are balanced with more savory notes of black pepper, cedar, and a little cured meat. The wine is aged for 8 months in 20% new oak (mostly French, with some American barrels used), and 80% neutral barrels, giving it just a kiss of baking spice and vanilla. Michelle DeWyngaert
100% Carignan from 60+ year-old vines in the Maule Valley, grown on granite with organic practices and no irrigation. The grapes are fermented in and aged for four months in cement vats to maintain the freshness and purity of the fruit.
"Pipeno" actually translates to barrel, but in this case it refers to an old tradition of making large barrels of juicy, quaffable wine for everyday drinking, and this wine is a perfect example. The blend is 80% Pais and 20% Carignane from 120-year-old vines. Though the climate is very warm in Maule, the Humbolt Currant helps maintain acidity and keeps the fruit from over-ripening. The País is destemmed with a traditional zaranda, and the Carignan is left whole-cluster. Together the wine is aged briefly in concrete before bottlling.