2017 Vina Gonzalez Bastias Pais en Tinaja Valle de Maule
Region: Valle de Maule < Chile
Grapes: Pais (aka Mission)
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Biodynamic farming; 220+ year old vines on soil made up of river stones on top of a granite bedrock of volcanic origin; grapes are crushed by hand over a bamboo zaranda, then the juice is fermented in open top cement and aged in amphora with some stems included; bottled unfined/unfiltered with teeny amounts of added So2 in some vintages; 12.9% ABV; 300 cases
Winemakers: Daniela Lorenza and Jose Luis Gonzalez Bastias
González Bastías is a town, and a small, family owned winery in western Maule owned by couple Daniela Lorenza and Jose Luis Gonzalez Bastias. They naturally farm 4 hectares of 7th generation Pais that was planted in 1800 - yes, 1800! Like 221 years ago!!! They focus on the local grape Pais and make some of the most natural and truly handmade Pais-centric wines in a region that is becoming a natural wine hot spot. Bearing the distinction of the longest continuously-run family estate in the region, they've become a reference point for real Chilean wine (forget the commercial stuff, it doesn't count). They also operate a natural wine bar there. We're basically counting the days until we can visit.
Until then, we can drink this wine, made in ancient terracotta amphora, locally called Tinaja. A pretty light purple in the glass, it might appear simple and grapey like most industrial Chilean wine. But it's a complex taste explosion in the mouth, packed with exotic spices, orange peel and something piney, like a Christmas tree, and a Coca Cola-like finish. There isn't an obvious amphora mark, nothing funky or reduced here, just juice that speaks loudly of its distinctive terroir. Such a cool heritage wine - you can taste 200 years of history in the glass! If you're a wine nerd, you must try this wine!
SERVE VERY SLIGHTLY CHILLED