2017 Louis-Antoine Luyt Gorda Blanca 00 'Cuveé Benoit'
Region: Bío Bío < Chile
Grapes: Moscatel, Chasselas, Sémillon, Torrentes
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming, dry-farmed, 250- year-old own-rooted vines on granitic red clay soils of volcanic origin, farmed entirely by hand; 4-day maceration with the skins in stainless steel then pressed and left to age on its gross lees for 6 months in tank; bottled unfined/unfiltered with no added SO2; zero-zero; 12% ABV
Winemaker: Luis-Antoine Luyt
Burgundy native Louis-Antoine Luyt has become an important voice in the fight for independent, terroir-driven winemaking in Chile. In a country where wine production is run almost entirely by huge industrial wineries, Luyt has managed to source fruit and rent vines from independent farmers throughout the Maule Valley. He insists on dry farming, horse plowing, organic viticulture and native yeast/intervention free winemaking, and makes the only line of Chilean wines following the European model of using the same varietal to highlight different terroirs.
And this unique white blend, named "Cuvée Benoît" after Luis-Antoine's son, is sourced from a single vineyard of crazy old vines, showcasing the region's volcanic terroir vividly: aromatic but not perfumy, it is dry and crisp, with subtle floral and nectarine notes dominated by its salty, briny side and intense flinty, smoky minerality. Not tannic or overtly aromatic, this is a serious, elegant wine where the skin contact just enhances the texture and layered complexity. STAFF FAVORITE.