2017 Vinateros Bravos ‘El Tunel’ Cinsault
Region: Itata Valley < Chile
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Biodynamic farming; dry-farmed 65 year-old bush-trained vines on volcanic soils; whole cluster fermentation and aging in cement vats for 14 months; bottled unfined/unfiltered with 10ppm So2; 13.4% ABV; 120 cases
Winemaker: Leonardo Erazo
Itata Valley, on Chile’s Pacific Coast, is a historical winemaking region (from the16th century) that is now home to a group of small-scale natural producers who are bringing back old-school, hands-off methods to make fresh, honest wine that tastes of the igneous rocky soil (from cooled volcanic magma!) and nearby sea that defines its terroir. Like Leo Erazo, who studied around the world but returned home to Itata to start his wine project. His Cinsault, from a tiny .4 hectare plot, is honest, clean and herbaceous, with bright red fruit and a subtle saline finish. It smells like amaro, and tastes like a breezy stroll through a Eucalyptus grove. So easy to drink, especially with a slight chill, this wine begs to be enjoyed outside, on a deck or in the backyard, with bare feet, a BBQ, and a squad of friends. One of the truest, most delightful, expressions of Chilean terroir we’ve come across.